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When you become an entrepreneur AKA business owner, it becomes imperative that you handle all the different aspects of your business, especially until you can hire help.
Being an entrepreneur can become overwhelming especially since there is so much to do, all the time!
While you can definitely plan your tasks in advance to increase your productivity and prioritize activities that push the wheel forward, having a list of tools to help you systemize and automate your business can be of a huge help.
Here is a list of tools that I use everyday in my business, that help me get over the overwhelm and re-claim my freedom.
1. Project Management:
Tool used: Trello
Trello is a project management tool that gives solopreneurs as well as teams a visual way to collaborate over tasks, projects, approval flows, or the next big idea. This tool is totally free for as many cards, lists and comments as you like.
The one thing I really like about Trello is that you can really use it to plan anything. From morning routines, to your gratitude practice, to meal prep: you can also use it to organize your personal life.
In business, you can use it to set your quarterly goals with task lists, you can then move some of these tasks to your weekly to-dos, you can also add team members and create a unique board for each client.
I talk more about how to use Trello in your business in my course on Systems and Automation.
2. Email Automation Tool:
Tool used: Convertkit
Convertkit is an email autoresponder. There are 2 tools that I have paid for, since the first day of my business. Clickfunnels and Convertkit. And it has totally been worth it. Convertkit costs $29 for up to 1000 subscribers.
The cool thing about Convertkit is that it is very easy to set up forms and it seamlessly integrates with almost every other business platform.
Convertkit has an easy to use visual automation and rules editor which really helps when you want to segment your list based on specific action taken by the subscriber.
If you are looking to save some money on landing page software, you could use the landing page builder offered by Convertkit. It is not the prettiest but it does the job.
I have used several email autoresponders while working full-time at a marketing agency, but the reason I like Convertkit is that it is perfect for the small business owner. It gives you enough flexibility, is easy to learn and use, and does not break your bank.
3. Sales Funnel Builder:
Tool used: Clickfunnels
Clickfunnels is a software that helps you build funnels. When I started my business as a service provider, I was also working full-time. I wanted to shorten the time between getting clear on who I wanted to serve and getting my first client.
So instead of spending time on building a website, I used Clickfunnels to build a lead generation funnel to build my email list. On the thank you page of my funnel, I invited those who had signed up, to book a free 15- minute consultation call with me.
I have also used Clickfunnels to build more advanced funnels for myself and my clients.
Clickfunnels can also be used to hosts courses/ membership sites, and it can be integrated with Stripe, to receive payments.
Though Clickfunnels is $97 per month, it is very easy to use and it also offers free readymade templates that you can tweak to get your funnel ready in a matter of hours.
P.S. You can also use a WordPress page builder like Elementor to build out your sales funnel if you want to use fewer tools in your business. I wrote a review on the Elementor page builder, you can find it here.
Join us for a 3 day “Systems and Automation for business” challenge here.
4. Stock Photos:
Platform used: Unsplash
Unsplash.com is my favorite website when it comes to using free stock photos.
I try to limit the number of stock photos I used in my business, because personal photos work better, especially when you are building a personal brand, but I do use stock photos in my pins and in some Instagram photos.
5. Social Media Scheduling:
Tools used: Tailwind, Buffer, Planoly
I use Tailwind to help me schedule my pins for Pinterest. It is a great tool to use, if you use Pinterest to drive traffic for your business. It is a paid scheduler, but the interface is great, and I love how you can schedule multiple pins on multiple boards at the same time.
I started using Pinterest not very long ago, I learned everything I know about using Tailwind for Pinterest in this course by Create and go.
I use Planoly to plan out my Instagram feed. You can use the free version to schedule up to 30 images per month.
The good thing about Planoly is that you can actually visually see how your feed would look like, and move images around accordingly. You can also save multiple list of hashtags for you to use with different posts.
I use Buffer to schedule out posts where I share my blog posts or videos. This makes it easier since once a post is written and ready to be published, I can immediately schedule it for different platforms, over multiple days, inside of Buffer.
As of now, Tailwind is the only paid scheduler out of these. I use free versions of Planoly and Buffer.
6. Creating templates for graphics:
Tool used: Canva
Almost all business owners have used or tried to use Canva at some point in their business. I think this tool was specifically made for people like me, who are not great at design.
But the best part about Canva is, you can create templates and re-use them every time you want to create fresh images
I have templates for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook group cover and Blog Post image in Canva.
Every time I write a new blog post, I can just make changes to the templates I already have, and use those new images. This saves a ton of time and I don’t need to come up with new designs every time I create new content.
Also, the free version is equally good when you are just starting out.
7. Creating videos:
Tool used – Loom
Loom is a chrome extension that helps you record videos ( including screen-share) for FREE! Yes, its crazy. This tool was a savior for me during early days of business when I wanted to create videos but did not want to spend on a software.
This tool works best for screen-sharing videos, (since you don’t need to use the camera or lighting) and you can even edit videos on the Loom website itself.
I actually created my entire first course using Loom. Once you have some money coming in, you might want to upgrade and use a better tool.
8. Going live on Facebook + Youtube
Tool used – Ecamm
If you use Facebook or Youtube live, I highly recommend the tool, Ecamm. It is a one time investment for $78.
This tool is great when you want to go live in different Facebook groups, your personal profile, or even Youtube.
For Facebook groups, all you have to do is go under Settings→ apps and add Ecam as an app.
You can also add logos and text to your videos before you go live.
9. Transcribing videos
Platform used – Rev.com
Rev.com is a great platform if you are looking to transcribe your videos to create other forms of content such as blog posts. They also do captions for you. Rev.com charges $1 per minute.
10. Password saving solution
Tool used : Lastpass
I have spoken about lastpass in a previous blog post. I have included it in this list because I use it daily and it makes my life much easier.
Lastpass is a Chrome Extension that helps you save all your passwords. Once you create an account, you can download the chrome extension on multiple devices. All you have to do is sign in.
11. Hosting courses
Platform used – Thinkific
Thinkific is an online course creation platform that lets you host multiple courses under a single academy. The reason why I added Thinkific here is because I have found it to the easiest platform for beginners.
It is really simple to use, and you can get started with uploading your videos or files almost immediately.
The interface is easy to use for you, as well as for your students. It is also free to use till a certain limit.
Good alternatives would be Teachable, Podia and Kartra.
12. Getting a domain for your website:
Platform used: Bluehost
I have been building WordPress websites since 5 years now, and I have always used Bluehost to get the domain name, as well as for web hosting.
13. Form creation:
Tool used: Typeform
If you survey your audience often, or if you are service based entrepreneur, Typeform is your friend.
You can use Typeform to invite your prospects to fill out a form before they get on a call with you, to better qualify them and also to do your own research before you talk to them.
You can also use typeform to create an application for a high ticket offer.
The basic plan for Typeform is free, it allows you to add 10 questions per form and it allows upto 100 responses per month.
These are the tools I use daily and highly recommend.
What tools do you use in your business? Let me know in the comments below!