Being an entrepreneur is a bit of a roller coaster. Luckily there are a few essential tools that make life much easier. Below I listed out my favs. These tools help cover everything from social media management to life management to navigating the nuances of running a shop and business online.
Several resources have affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I earn a commission if you purchase. This helps fuel my new found love for coffee, keeping this site hopping with free robust resources to help you create massive momentum in your Etsy store. After all, caffeine is one of the many things that keeps this site up and running.
Social Media Management
Who knew that you could schedule out Pins? I didn’t until I came across this divine platform. It doesn’t just give you the ability to schedule pins, it also unlocks a variety of key data and analytics to remove the mystery behind which pins do best.
Why schedule pins? Turns out that spacing pins is the best way to increase engagement, get your content in front of more eyeballs and overall help boost your account. Also, who in here doesn’t lose massive amounts of time every time you log into Pinterest? This helps you be active while still maintaining your productivity.
Sounds like a win!
Instagram capabilities will be launching soon. If it’s half as good as their Pinterest capabilities, we’ll all be receiving more love on Instagram.
They have both a free option and paid version. If you’re just starting out with Pinterest, then the free option will cover everything you need. Check it out here.
While we’re talking about automating social, let’s knock out Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn (and another great option for Instagram). They recently introduced YouTube scheduling as well. One stop shop for sure. Well, except for Pinterest.
I love this platform since it cuts down on hours of time throughout the week. Sit down on a Monday afternoon, knock out a week’s worth of content and whala! Social is done for the week. Check back in a few times to monitor engagement.
Looking for rapid followers on Twitter? Crowdfire is your ticket. It gives you the ability to selectively copy followers from similar accounts, deploying a follow for follow strategy. If they didn’t follow you back, Crowdfire let’s you know and makes it easy to unfollow.
Looking to amplify Instagram. They have you covered there too. While Instagram doesn’t allow copy followers anymore, you can see exactly who is following (and who isn’t).
Blogging & Website
Before even thinking about building a website, you gotta lock down that URL. In fact, I would even go so far as encouraging you to check domain name availability BEFORE you finalize on your business name.
I adore Namecheap. They have great prices, excellent customer service and a super easy to use service. I am still kicking myself for having a few domain names (yes, I seem to collect them) at some unsavory money grubbing places that I seem to have to call and argue with every year….
Skip that hassle and go with Namecheap first. Check your domain name here.
WordPress is by far the most robust, user-friendly and versatile option for websites. It’s actually the platform behind the website that you are reading right now.
Better yet, it’s free! Here’s Michael Hyatt on hooking up a WordPress site in 20 minutes.
Likely you’ll want to hook up a sweet theme to make the site a little more stylish. Those options typically cost a small fee plus hiring someone to hook up the theme.
Wanting to make your WordPress site more savvy? Explore the themes at Theme Forest. This one is Mineral and I have to tell you, I’m obsessed.
Not jamming on my favorite theme? That’s ok. They have thousands of options, some as low as $2.
Here’s a confession. I have a graphic design degree. Unbelievable I know. Turns out that it wasn’t my calling. That being said, I have all the know how to use the robust Adobe platform.
But Canva is simpler.
From per-formatted and sized social media images to blog images and more, this is the best place. They have hundreds of free templates you can use, free graphics and even free photos. If you happen to fall in love with one of the paid features, it’s only $1.
Become the master of first impressions with a card from Moo. Seriously, the number of comments I’ve received just from handing out a card is impressive.
Because the quality if top notch. I chose the Luxe Original Business cards. The thicker paper stock creates a reaction. Every single card from them comes with a guarantee. If it’s not creating the reaction that you want, then connect with Moo’s customer service. It’s the best encounter you will have (and they take care of you)!
Ever send an e-mail to crickets? Wouldn’t be great if you could tell if the person on the other side actually opened what you sent (and clicked the link).
What about when you work nights. Sending an e-mail at 1am in the morning makes you look like a workaholic.
Luckily there’s Boomerang. This is the most robust and dare I say lifesaving Google plugin I’ve come across. Now I can track if someone opens my e-mail (so I suggest you check mine!), send e-mails in the future and tell current conversations in my inbox to come back tomorrow.
Try out the free version here. You have 10 free slots each month.
Life and Learning
I couldn’t live my life without Google Calendars. As a former die-hard physical planner type of gal, my emergence into the digital calendar was a reluctant one.
There was just magic about writing down tasks in my planner.
Turns out there is more magic with scheduled reminders, color coated events, sharing my schedule with team members (and my husband) and the ability to set reoccurring events.
It’s also great for archiving family birthdays. I put in once and get a reminder every year.
Looking for online storage (for free). Google comes to the rescue again. You can build out folders, share PDFs, upload documents, and download documents. Sharing is as simple as adding an e-mail to the file.
Ever wonder where your time went? Well, it turns out there is an app for that. It measures what you spend your time on, which websites suck your time and then tells you at the end of the week.
Watch out. It tells it like it is. So if you spend a lot of time lost in Facebook or watching movies on Netflix, you’re going to know exactly how many minutes (er..um hours) you’ve spent doing just that.
Books on the go! Turn your driving time, workout routine or commute into an opportunity to explore any topic. You’ll be amazed at how much books on tape will ignite your imagination, take you around the world, dive deeper into business or more.
Wanting more than one book a month? Then go old school – to the library! You’ll be amazed at the digital library selection. From e-books to audio books, they have a great selection.
Pro tip (for all audio mediums) put it on double time to go through the content faster.