Here they are! I hope they help you as much as they have helped me!
Small Print: If you want one of these things – click from this page and I get a small affiliate payment.
Lets start with Tools for productivity, finances, email marketing & social media and images. (see below for more)
Acuity books all my appointments, keeping track of all my calendars (work, personal, to-dos), preventing double booking, accommodating time zones and taking payments.
And no geographically diverse team would be complete without Zoom, the inter-office water cooler.
Financial Business Tools
We use Freshbooks to provide our clients with a portal to view past /future invoices, estimates and projects. It is also my CRM. Freshbooks integrates with Stripe for recurring credit card payments; and Paypal for bank, Paypal and credit card purchases. We also accept electronic fund transfers (EFT) – any way to accept money is a good way!
Social Media & Email Marketing
Convertkit – this email program is really simple to use and pretty too! It will allow you to edit each sign-up form to have its own thank you email (if you want – it can include its own download). You can create and style forms without code. And paste the forms into any widget or page in WordPress.
Feed Emails – if you don’t need to send thank you emails and downloads. Or you dont want to send hand-written newsletters, you can still send out your posts to a list of emails through SpecificFeeds. And it’s free!
You gather all the blogs you read and engage with; use Later to share/schedule the good stuff
Cleans out the twitter peeps who no longer post or who are spammers; helps you follow the peeps you want to.
Schedule all your social media posts in advance. With analytics, repositories for reuse, and organization systems.
The only app approved by Pinterest for scheduling pins. We use this for their suggested hashtags, saving hashtag groupings, saving and scheduling images in both Instagram and Pinterest. They also have a robust group/tribe function.
Images / Photographs
My favorite place to purchase social media images (to be edited later) and blog photos. They have an awesome assortment of the new flat-lay and desk top images.
a great place for more stock photos. When creative market doesn’t have what I need, these folks do.
My favorite (and very easy to use) online photo editor for social media images.
With the pro version, you can save your uploaded photographs, custom branded fonts and colors and re-use whenever you need! Less customization of photos and more super-fast social media images.
To set up a website, see this blog series for beginners and use the tools below. You will need one of everything: a domain name, hosting company and WordPress software.
WPBarista – we resell eNom domains and set them up for you.
We have a great history with these two companies. We now recommend WPEngine for beginners and OrangeGeek for traffic +/- 5k/day.
What we’re talking about on this site is your own copy of WordPress. This is a free download from WordPress.org (NOT wordpress.com – see the difference?) Most host companies have a one-click install for WordPress and for my boutique hosting service, I do the install for you. http://wordpress.org
After you have your website, comes the fun part: Plugins & Styles!
Install plugins through the dashboard. Sometimes a special license is required – in those cases I have linked to the site.
- Social Sharing: Social Warfare: Our favorite plugin for sharing buttons on posts and pages. Includes Click to Tweet, Analytics and hidden social sharing images.
- Backups: UpdraftPlus or VaultPress
- Spam: Akismet
- Auto-Posting to to Social Networks: Co-Schedule will post your statuses and new post to several social networks
- Speed: W3 Total Cache
- SEO: Yoast SEO Plugin standard (free) version
- Related Posts: Jetpack
- Popular Posts: Jetpack
- Optins & Forms: Gravity Forms (& Easy Fancybox for popups)
- Security: WPBarista – we bundle Sucuri monitoring, cleanups and firewalls with our backups and upgrades for full peace of mind.
- Recipes: WP Tasty
Gorgeous Themes & Styles
When setting up your theme, you will need to purchase the Genesis framework first, and then a child theme of your choice. If we are doing the set up or theme for you, do not purchase these.
Genesis – essential for security, longevity, SEO, loading times
Restored 316 Designs – child themes; feminine & pretty; excellent support
Marketing an Online Service Business
Michael Hyatt – I read the articles here for an injection of leadership umph. I adore inspiring and motivating and encouraging everyone around me. And this guy inspires and encourages me.