Selecting the right systems, tools, and technology for your business, at the right time can be a very overwhelming task.
While you may know that you “need” something to solve your problems, acquiring, implementing and making strategic use of the tool can be an exhaustive effort.
With so many tools available today, this comprehensive list will provide you with specific tools to help you meet your specific business needs.
Whether you are looking for a new membership platform or a system to help manage your leads and customers; this list contains the best tools available today.
With these tools, you can learn how to save time, money, and resources with your business so that your business easily earns a return on the investment.
After previous experience using MailChimp for marketing communications, when I became serious about my business, I decided to upgrade to Active Campaign. What I LOVE about Active Campaign is how quick and easy you can get started for only $9/month! This is a great way to test it out for a while and see if it works for you, before having to sink a lot of time or money into the tool.
Other reasons to use ActiveCampaign as your email marketing and automation tool:
- ActiveCampaign has a built-in CRM that allows you to keep track of leads and deals in your sales pipeline.
- ActiveCampaign has deep data and API integrations that allow you to link it with your other tools such as a membership platform, eCommerce and scheduling software.
- Using trigger-based automations, ActiveCampaign allows you to build processes and workflows that help you automate various aspects of your business.
Ready to see it in Action? Check out this blog on How to Use Active Campaign to Increase Your Marketing and Sales Efficiently!
Zoom Conferencing is my tool of choice for web-based meetings, group conferences, and screen sharing.
Tip! Here's how to get the most out of your conferencing software.
Zoom is a great fit for you if you are looking for a way to organize 1-1 or group meetings and would like to integrate with other tools such as Acuity Scheduling and Google Calendar.
Cloud App is a quick and easy visual communication tool. With a click of a button, you can grab a screenshot, video and/or audio clip and have a direct URL copied to your clipboard ready to insert in an email or document.
Cloud App is a great fit for you if you are looking for a way to create on-the-fly audio and visual references with contacts without needing to open a fancy program or upload videos to a host.
Asana is a collaborative workspace that allows you to manage projects and tasks across internal and external teams. With Asana you will have clear communications, reduced emails, and total project and workflow tracking in one place.
For more information on Asana check out 5 Steps To Project Management (And How to Get Things Done).
For just $5 a month you can upgrade your standard Google services to work with your specific domain… that means Google-based email for your @domain.com addresses (no more crazy webmail!) as well as a business calendar, upgraded storage drive, hangouts and MORE!
(If you aren’t already leveraging Google Analytics for your business, this is also included as part of the GSuite!)
For more information on GSuite, check out GSuite for Business Communications and Productivity.
MindMeister is the leading online mind mapping software that allows users to work collaboratively to brainstorm & work on mind maps. As a content creator, MindMeister has been my tool of choice for creating outlines and brainstorming ideas.
MindMeister is a great fit for you if you would like to move away from whiteboards and into a virtual space, while still having the freedom to brainstorm your ideas.
Lucidchart is a visual workspace that combines diagramming, data visualization, and collaboration to accelerate understanding and drive innovation. As a process and workflow developer, I leverage LucidChart to map out workflows in a way that is easy to understand.
LucidChart is a great fit for you if you need a virtual diagramming software that’s quick and easy to use, without breaking the bank.
Business Management Tools
Acuity Scheduling is your online assistant; it removes the back and forth conversations of “are you available” and allows contacts to schedule appoints directly on your calendar, based on your availability. In addition, you can accept appointment payments, ask questions/surveys, and automate Zoom meeting creation for each appointment.
Acuity Scheduling is a good fit for you if you need to automate your scheduling without adding another burden to your existing team.
PandaDoc is a platform that allows you to create, send, track, and eSign documents, such as sales contracts.
PandDoc is a great fit for you if you are looking for a tool that allows you to go paperless and process contracts much quicker and efficiently.
Quickbooks is simple accounting software that allows you to track expenses, send invoices (with FREE ACH payments!) and generate a variety of different forms for your business accounting needs.
Quickbooks is a great fit for you if you are looking for software that is easy to use, track and receive payments on and your account will love!
Use this link to get 50% off QuickBooks Online or 50% off QuickBooks Self-Employed for 6 months.*
Pipedrive is a CRM system that allows you to track, follow-up, and optimize your sales process resulting in greater sales for your business.
Pipedrive is a good fit for you if you are looking for a tool that will help you collaboratively track sales across your teams and estimate revenue.
Tools that Help You Collect Money
ThriveCart is a shopping cart system that allows you to sell both digital products and services, leverage order bumps, upsells and downsells.
ThriveCart is a great fit for you if you are looking for an upcoming, standalone shopping cart system that can integrate with your existing website and CRM (such as ActiveCampaign).
Deadline Funnel is an automated countdown application that allows you to add timelines and countdowns to your email campaigns and webpages.
Deadline Funnel is a great fit for you if you are looking to optimize your evergreen campaigns and convert more leads into sales.
PlusThis is an add on tool that allows you to amplify your already existing marketing automations. Using PlusThis, you can automate expiring offers and shopping carts, webinars, SMS, and more! PlusThis integrates with multiple CRMs, including ActiveCampaign.
PlusThis is a great fit for you if you want to take your existing marketing automations to a new level so that you can grow your business.
iThemes Security is the #1 tools to secure and protect your WordPress website. It is easy to install, update, and manage across multiple users and plugins.
iThemes Security is a great fit for you if you are looking for a WordPress plugin that will both secure your site (including providing multi-factor authentication) and protect it from attackers.
Carbonite provides cloud-based backup, disaster recovery, and replication capabilities. It is a MUST HAVE for any entrepreneur or small business to ensure that your data is backed up in the event of a catastrophic computer failure.
Carbonite is a great fit for you if you currently do not have any type of back up or disaster management plan for your computer and other information technology assets.
1Password is a password manager developed by AgileBits Inc. It provides a place for users to store various passwords, software licenses, and other sensitive information in a virtual vault that is locked with a PBKDF2-guarded master password.
1Password is a great fit for you if you are currently tracking your system passwords on sticky notes or paper and need a more robust, and secure, storage method.
SiteGround Website Hosting
In 2017, after major issues from my last host, HostGator, I switched to SiteGround. Not only is SiteGround super reasonable in pricing, but they also have a ton of done-for-you services included in their hosting packages!
- Free site migration with a new hosting package.
- 1-click WordPress install.
- Back up and caching plugins built-in (this eliminated over $100 in annual expenses for me).
- Staging site creation and 1-click push to production.
- AMAZING technical support; I never have to wait for more than a couple of minutes chat live with someone.
SiteGround is a great fit for you if you are looking for a WordPress website host that will provide great service at a competitive price.
ThriveThemes is a WordPress based theme and plugins that are conversion-focused and integrate with a variety of other tools.
In particular, ThriveLeads is a fantastic opt-in form generate which syncs effortlessly with ActiveCampaign allowing for robust marketing automations.
ThriveThemes is a great fit for you if you are looking for a WordPress theme and plugins that are easy to set up while maximizing conversion.
Gravity Forms allows you to create both simple and advanced forms on your WordPress website that integrate with a variety of other tools, including ActiveCampaign.
Gravity Forms can be used to create surveys, contact forms, order forms and more!
Gravity Forms is a great fit for you if you want to create customized forms on your website in an easy to use interface.
MyQuest is an action-based learning platform developed for coaches, trainers and enterprise organizations. MyQuest allows you to create meaningful learning bolstered by feedback, coaching, and peer mentorship.
MyQuest is a good fit for you if you want a SaaS (software as a service) learning and membership portal, without the hassle of building and hosting it yourself.
AccessAlly is a WordPress-based course and membership solution that allows an out-of-the-box solution that can be further customized with development.
AccessAlly is a good fit for you if you are looking for a WordPress-based course AND membership platform that will allow you to work with a variety of CRM tools, such as ActiveCampaign).
ActiveMember360 is a WordPress-based membership site plugin that works exclusively with ActiveCampaign. With AM360 you can create a membership portal, lockdown content, and accept payments.
ActiveMember360 is a good fit for you if you are already using the ActiveCampaign CRM, comfortable with shortcodes and doing some development work and have a WordPress-based website.
LearnDash is the leading WordPress-based learning management system (LMS). With LearnDash, you can create online courses that include eCommerce, drip-fed content, certificates, points and badges as well as various triggers that link to your marketing automation system.
LearnDash is a good fit for you if you are already using WordPress and want to develop the ultimate learning platform.
Tip! Already have a membership site? Check out this article on 8 Must-Have Membership Site Automations.
As a computer artist by trade, it took me a while to get on board with Canva… after all, I grew up learning the Adobe Creative Suite, and Photoshop is second nature to me.
However, the need to design visual content more rapidly led me to give Canva a shot… and boy was I missing out all of this time!
Canva is great for setting up brands, templates, and simple visual content in a snap. I can do this on my phone, iPad or computer. Don’t get me wrong; I still love Photoshop, but Canva has become my go-to for on the rapid design.
Other benefits of Canva:
- Easy to learn; quick ramp-up time.
- Low entry point; other visual tools are much pricier. The free version is great, but if you can spare $12/month the premium is even better!
SnagIt is screen capture and recording software that lets you quickly capture a process, add your explanation, and create visual instructions. SnagIt is a great tool to use for creating documentation, explanations and other visual instructions.
SnagIt is a good fit for you if you are going to be developing technical content and need to quickly grab screen captures or recordings.
Camtasia is a video recording software; you can use it to create a talking head video, screen share video or any combination of videos. You can import video from a digital camera as well.
It’s very simple and easy to edit. There are different effects and callouts that you can add-in.
As someone who is familiar with Adobe Premier, Final Cut Pro and iMovie, Camtasia beats all of these regarding the learning curve and production time. It’s a great tool to create simple videos that you are looking for output more rapidly.
Camtasia is a good fit for you if you are looking for simple video and screen recording and editing software.