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 ZOHO Invoice to provide our clients with a portal to view past /future invoices, estimates and projects. It is also my CRM. We also use 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.
Mailerlite – NEW to us is Mailerlite. We chose it because of the cost, the ease of use, free automations and the many many free integrations.
Later – Schedule all your social media posts in advance. With analytics, repositories for reuse, and organization systems.
Tailwind – 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
Creative Market 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.
Big Stock Photo a great place for more stock photos. When creative market doesn’t have what I need, these folks do.
PicMonkey My favorite (and very easy to use) online photo editor for social media images.
Canva 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: Our favorite plugin for sharing buttons is Grow Social – it is the fastest social sharing plugin available at time of writing.
- Backups: UpdraftPlus or VaultPress
- Spam: Akismet or CleanTalk
- Auto-Posting to to Social Networks: Co-Schedule will post your statuses and new post to several social networks
- Speed: WP-Rocket and WP Cloudflare Page Cache
- SEO: Yoast SEO Plugin standard (free) version
- Related Posts: Jetpack
- Popular Posts: Jetpack
- Optins & Forms: Happy Forms(& Easy Fancybox for popups)
- Security: WPBarista – we bundle Blogvault for our maintenance clients, which bundles monitoring, cleanups and firewalls with our backups and upgrades for full peace of mind.
- Recipes: WP Tasty and WP Recipe Maker
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.
Kadence – free theme and the most customizable you will find! All block based!
Restored 316 Designs – child themes done for you! 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.