If you’re going to run an online business, you will continually run into certain types of software that will make your life MUCH easier! Here are a few of my faves!!!!
Branding and Graphics
Have you spent THOUSANDS of dollars on graphics from designers, only to not be able to really use their stuff? Or to change your branding and have to pay again for expensive changes? Try these free (and small subscription programs)!
Oh my gosh, this free program changed my life! I had been hiring expensive designers and jerry rigging everything myself in Adobe Illustrator – taking tons of time, money, and frustration! When Canva first debuted a couple of years ago, it was like God answered the prayers for one of the biggest frustrations in my business! Imagine creating amazing, branded graphics for FREE, in a matter of minutes! Canva has TONS of stock photos as well that you can upload to your designs – all for $1! If you’re used to paying $25 – $75 for a stock image for your marketing materials – that can officially stop now! Then when Canva debuted their Canva for work program (currently a $12.95/mo subscription), they added in the ability to create your own brand kits, upload your own fonts, build templates, create folders for both your images and your finished work. I swear it was life changing!!!! Today we design all our client worksheets, our social media graphics, our blog headers, email headers and other marketing collateral – all in Canva!
So Picmonkey has a lot of similar features as Canva, but if you do a ton of design work, especially with photos, Picmonkey may be the perfect fit for you! Picmonkey has the ability to add overlays and cool fonts to your photos, just like Canva. But it also has tons of filters and capabilities to actually edit the photos yourself – imagine removing red eye, removing wrinkles, and adding a tan! Picmonkey has a free version, with limited capabilities and also a paid version (under $5 per month) that gives you more access to specific design features!
I’m going to do you a BIG favor here and steer you to the perfect software to help you grow your email lists without huge up front fees. I personally use Infusionsoft, but I do not recommend it for most people with online businesses. It is expensive and “bulky”. If you have a fabulous tech team or are incredibly techy yourself, it may be a good fit. But if you want to start something quickly, I’d suggest something more like the two I have listed below. 😉
Convertkit is not the most robust CRM for follow up via phone, team management, etc – but if you are looking for a simple, SUPER ROBUST email marketing, follow up, and automation program, I don’t know that there’s a program that is any better. It offers the client segmentation processes that some of the more expensive companies offer, in a simpler, less expensive way! If your goal is to build an online business complete with sales funnels, then this is one of your best options – especially for the money!
Aweber is another fabulous and fairly simple email automation program. In my opinion, if you are looking for a full CRM AND a full email automation program, Aweber may be the perfect, low cost fit. It does not have the sophistication of the “If this, then that” email marketing of Infusionsoft and Convertkit, but it does have good client management systems at a lower cost than some of its more sophisticated alternatives.
I personally have been using Infusionsoft now for over three years. I want to be very clear, this program is not for everyone! It is really good! In my opinions, it is likely the most robust CRM and email marketing system on the market. However, the biggest words of caution are that it is one of the more expensive and it in being SO robust, it is also a bit confusing! However, if you are building a big income enterprise, and you need your internet marketing to be managed with the utmost in power and sophistication, this is likely the fit for you!
I just can’t say enough good things about Leadpages. It is one of my favorite pieces of software in my business! It is fairly inexpensive. It allows you to create opt ins, webinar sign ups, thank you pages, pop ups, and sales pages. It integrates with the large email marketing programs and webinar programs. It has a plug in that links your pages directly to your website. One of the things I love most about lead pages is that they test their pages and provide templates that can be sorted based on both purpose and past conversion rates. Imagine using only pages and templates that have already been tested by others in the market place! In my opinion, this is a MUST have for an online business – and a SHOULD have for any business that wants to capture leads, deliver webinars, etc.
Screenflow is one of my secret weapons. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this software and probably use is 5-10 times per week. First, I use it to record and document systems for my staff. Second, I use it to record training for my online programs and membership sites. Third, I use it for video editing and production for anything I’ve already recorded. It is THE BEST!
Camtasia is another video production software much like Screenflow. It is high powered and will do almost any level of screen recording, editing and production. It was designed primarily for Windows and is about three times as expensive as Screenflow.
Wistia is a video hosting program that allows you to host both free and paid videos on their site with the ability to be streamed and embedded in other programs (emails, websites, blog posts, sales pages, etc.) If you need limited storage, they have a free option. If you need additional storage, then there are various subscription levels.
Vimeo is another video hosting program that allows both free and paid videos on their site with the ability to be streamed and embedded in other programs (emails, websites, blog posts, sales pages, etc.) If you need limited storage, they have a free option. If you need additional storage, then there are various subscription levels.