How do I run my business efficiently + effectively?
With the help of a few of my favorite tools! Below you'll find the tools I actually use as you seek to do your meaningful work. Please note that some are affiliate links so if you choose to sign up, I will receive a commission as a thank you from the company, but you will not have to pay anything extra for this. Also, I truly do use these - I do not recommend anything outside of what I am using right now to run my business.
Acuity is a lifesaver if you are scheduling clients in groups or 1-1! I set my calendar with availability, link it to my iPhone calendar so any appointments in my personal life block off that time, link it to Stripe to take payments up front, and link it to Zoom to automatically schedule virtual conference rooms to meet in. It sends calendar invites to attendees, allows them to reschedule or cancel within my approved paramteters, and keeps things smooth for all involved.
Canva makes me look like a pro. All images you see are made in Canva. You can use the free account, but I personally pay for the Work account so I can organize everything by folders. We're talking social media, book covers, banners for Facebook groups, flyers, workbooks for classes - all of it is Canva.
ConvertKit is a powerhouse e-mail marketing provider that let's you easily segment, create tags based on client activity, and target for better sales margins. Their included landing page feature makes it simple to integrate into your marketing plan. The best part - ConvertKit is so easy to use! For the price, this is a no-brainer.
CrowdCast is the best virtual teaching classroom I've found, and I've tested so many in my corporate and entrepreneurial life. CrowdCast is perfect for webinars, paid masterclasses, courses - anything you want to teach live for free or for a fee. I never hit tech glitches and my clients have a seamless experience. Huge win!
Bonus: Use code ELLECHAT-20 at sign-up for 20% off your first 2 months!
I've been on the Evernote bandwagon since 2013 when I was still a School Principal. It's a digital filing cabinet - you can create notes, scan documents, and organize it all. I use it for my personal tasks, business tasks, and save entire presentations and files in there. The best part? Sharing those notes so you can collaborate + the ability to search documents/PDF's to quickly find what you need!
G-Suite allows me to create e-mail addresses linked to my URL and offers the full Google product line to match - calendar, google voice, etc. While I am an Apple fanboy, I do love my Google products to sync across my devices, so G-Suite helps with productivity whether I'm on my laptop, phone, or a temporary device.
Customer Relation Management
HoneyBook fully manages your client journey with eSignatures, digital payments, task management, centralized communication, bookkeeping, invoices, ALL of that! I'm a proud brand ambassador for HoneyBook's educational program, and my link actually gives you 50% off your first year with HoneyBook!
Social Media Management
Social Media matters. We get that. Later is my favorite tool right now - I upload all of my pre-made images and videos, save the captions that match each post in the Notes for that image, schedule the days and times I want to post, then just drag and drop them to the calendar. The captions automatically populate (inclusive of hashtags if you'd like them in the caption!) and I save 10-20 hours per month that I used to spend manually scheduling.
She Hustles provides an amazing custom hashtag service. You purchase 3 sets of hashtags based on your client avatar, brand, and offerings. There is even an annual plan that I personally use so that I can get 3 new sets every single quarter for a total of 12 sets for the year! This keeps my engagement on Instagram fresh and bringing in new, targeted clients without me taking the time to research and test hashtags.
BONUS: Use code MICHAEL for 10% off any hashtag package!
SquareSpace is the best website host if you do not plan to spend money on a designer in the first 1-3 years. It is a drag-and-drop platform that I design my own sites with (even though I've been coding sites since 1999!) and you can easily switch it up with their templates. With their business plan I get unlimited pages - can we say landing and sales pages galore?
Teachable is my LMS (learning management system) platform that hosts my entire membership program, Content Builders, as well as my individual Masterclasses that I sell and use as free opt-ins. For $99 per month I make that multiple times over. I easily bundle classes for special sales, manage subscriptions by linking it to Stripe, and e-mail course participants within the platform at times for upsets and reminders.
Zoom is my virtual conference room. 1-1 clients? Schedule a Zoom room and hangout! Mastermind or group setting? Invite them all in and you can all share screens like The Brady Bunch. Best yet - if you use Acuity, you can link Zoom to automatically schedule rooms when clients book appointments so you can just show up!
Unsure where to begin?
I offer 30-minute strategy calls to discuss your current needs, address one main pain point, and share the best way for us to proceed in working together. Strategy Calls are $100 and if you book a coaching program, this cost will be credited towards your service.