As an entrepreneur in the digital age, I rely on a number of digital software tools to run my business and have discovered some valuable resources over the years as well. This list will be growing!
I’m a huge believer in using nimble, best in class digital tools that are open source (they can talk to other tools), reliable, and affordable. I’m not a fan of the “all-in-one” solutions like Infusionsoft, for example. In my experience these software platforms tend to be overkill for what you really need. They are also complex, expensive, and outdated.
I have extensive experience with each and every one of the tools and resources listed below and feel very confident in recommending them to you.
Please note: if you decide to sign-up for a free trial or purchase any of the tools on my recommended list, I can be compensated by the provider for the referral. Ultimately, you have to decide which digital tools are most suitable for you. You should consider my list as a starting point for conducting your own research and testing.
Steph’s Recommended Digital Tools and Apps
My website runs on WordPress (self-hosted version). There is just nothing that compares to the power and flexibility of WordPress. Not to mention the thousands of plugins available to extend the functionality and the huge support community of designers and developers out there.
WP Engine – WordPress hosting is not a commodity. I’ve used very low cost hosting in the past, and it was a disaster. With WordPress hosting, you get what you pay for. You don’t want to go with the low cost provider when it comes to hosting and securing your website or blog.
I migrated my own sites as well as all of my client sites to WP Engine in 2012 and have never looked back. WP Engine provides hassle and worry free WordPress specific hosting. It’s also a fast and scalable platform. Most importantly, their service and support is absolutely outstanding! (I’m a WP Engine affiliate)
WP101 – My good friend Shawn Hesketh has done an amazing job with his WordPress 101 Training Videos. You’ll have the basics down in no time, and he updates the videos each time there is a new release on WordPress software! (I’m a WP101 partner and affiliate)
Content Development, Planning, & Marketing
For a long time I’ve survived without a content calendar but finally decided it was time to put more structure around my process. I chose CoSchedule, which is a content marketing calendar and social media tool that integrates directly with WordPress, Evernote, and even Google docs.
CoSchedule allows you to share your blog posts multiple times across multiple social media channels and track your shares, all from the dashboard of your WordPress website.
Social Media Management Tools
For managing social media I use Buffer as my go-to desktop app (I have an iMac and a 12″ Macbook). I’ve used Buffer from day one and love the fact that I decide on what gets shared while Buffer delivers it to my designated social networks according to the schedule I set up. It just works so well with the way I work.
For Pinterest, I use the @TailwindApp which is available both on desktop and mobile.
On my iPhone I use the Buffer mobile app as well as native apps for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
My go to landing pages software is LeadPages.
LeadPages has hundreds of beautiful landing page templates that you can customize. They also easily integrate with WordPress and nearly every other digital tool out there, including my email marketing program!
I’ve been using ConvertKit for my primary email marketing tool since September of 2015. It’s a newer email marketing platform, but it’s built specifically for small business entrepreneurs. It has the valuable tagging and marketing automation features of something like InfusionSoft, but it is much simpler to use and much more affordable. I’ve actually migrated from InfusionSoft to ConvertKit.
Bottom line is InfusionSoft is overkill for most small business entrepreneurs!
MailChimp is also a good choice for simple email marketing.
More resources and tools that I use are coming soon.