As a financial entrepreneur and digital business consultant digital business tools have changed my life. To run my business a decade ago would have cost me 10x what it does today. And that's because digital tools have made the difference.
Learning and implementing the right digital tools into your business can have a massive impact on your efficiency, scalability, marketing, and more. In short, digital tools can give you a tremendous competitive advantage over your peers.
I have extensive experience with all of the tools and resources listed below and feel very confident in recommending them to you. However, it's up to you to determine if these tools I use are right for your business. 🙂
Please note: If you decide to sign-up for a free trial or purchase any of the tools on my recommended list, I can potentially 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
All of my websites run 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 support is outstanding and they are constantly improving the platform. (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)
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 sharing app. It works across devices. I love the fact that I decide on what gets shared while Buffer delivers it to my designated social networks based on when the most people are likely to see and engage with my updates.
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, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
I'm a big Twitter fan as well and I typically have Tweetdeck open all day in my laptop. It's a serious Twitter power tool.
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.
MailChimp is also a good choice for simple email marketing. I still use MailChimp for sending out blog posts automatically. They have awesome email templates.
Tools to Run My Business
I have two LLCs and a bookkeeper. We manage both businesses on Quickbooks Online.
Whether I'm communicating with full-time employees or contract team members from across the globe, I use Slack. Slack will change your life. It saves you a ton of time (no more searching through email threads) and it integrates with just about everything.
I keep all of my files in Dropbox but do an additional backup of my own. I use Google Apps for email and other basic business functionality.
This is a growing list. I'll continue to add to it over time.