30 Top Tools to Grow your Business
Whether you are a new startup or an established business, there are a host of tools available to help you manage and grow your business. Knowing which tools to use can save A LOT of time and allow you to focus more of your time and energy on the parts of the business that need you most.
Here is a curated list of the best tools I've tried and tested and use myself:
Knowing the keywords people are using to search for and find your business is crucial. It helps you know that information to share and which words to use in your titles and content. As an added reason to use this, know that it helps search engines know how to rank your site. It is free and you don’t need to create an account. It also will deliver up to 750 long-tail keyword suggestions.
This website offers a host of free and paid SEO tools. You can do a keyword search, generate meta tags, and spider your website to see how search engines view your site.
AnswerThePublic listens into autocomplete data from search engines like Google then quickly cranks out every useful phrase and question people are asking around specific topics. You get to see how relevant your content is and keywords to focus on.
Squarespace is known for their beautiful and easy to use websites. Great SEO features & top notch security.
Selling physical goods? Then Shopify is a great place to build your site - it handles details like taxes, live shipping rates and there's a good selection of website templates too (although most cost extra).
Kajabi features a full suite of world-class online business tools working seamlessly together. A complete online business platform for serious entrepreneurs, experts, and influencers. Includes hosting for online Courses.
You have to use Analytics to track your website and marketing numbers.
Google Analytics provides an incredible wealth of information for your website and business, and business owner with a website should be taking full advantage of its capabilities. Simply using the above dashboard, you are able to view things like the time spent on your site, number of pages visited, frequency of returning visitors, sources of your site traffic and views, users, and behavior information for every page on your site.
For instance you can see traffic from the different networks (Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals) or you can check the engaged reading time by looking at Time on Page. And for the real-time stats of who’s on your site right now, click on Real-Time > Overview.
User research can be incredibly useful in setting your marketing strategy. My favorite feature is the heat maps that show you where visitors are spending time on your site. For example, Hotjar lets you see how someone interacts with your blog posts. How much of the post do they read? Where do they pause? What do they click? HotJar will also provide information on the state of your sales funnel and give you valuable feedback on how potential customers interact with your site.
A teamwork platform that allows you to enable real-time, collaborative task management with Google-Apps integration. Organize projects, tasks, assign due dates, create meeting agendas, assign tasks and communicate with your team. Definitely cuts back on all those back and forth e-mails trying to figure out what's been done and what hasn't!
Dropbox has a great interface and quickly allows you to sync files across multiple computers. Great way to share files with clients. Lives on your desktop and is cloud based.
Dubsado is a business management solution designed to cut out the busywork. Build relationships, schedule appointments, and create workflows to streamline your projects from start to finish. Implementing Dubsado was a game changer for my business.
HubSpot CRM gives you full visibility into your sales pipeline in real time and ranks as one of the best CRM software products I’ve used. It even includes email templates to help you set up your processes. It includes email marketing, meetings scheduler, forms, email tracking, live chat, chatbot builder, reporting dashboard, contacts and pipeline management.
MOBILE APP BUILDER
The easiest way to build mobile apps for iOS & Android. Normally, if you want to build an application, you’ll need $5-10k, a few months, and a lot of patience. BuildFire lets you quickly create clean, beautiful, user-friendly apps with all the advantages that mobile apps can afford a business. The engagement possibilities are endless, and the BuildFire platform lets you explore them all.
HELP DESK SOFTWARE
Groove is free help desk software that is extremely simple to use and has all the features you need to stay on top of your customer service tickets. Additional features include social media, live chat, phone and SMS integration, allowing you to handle everything customer service related in one easy to manage tool.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
One of the more popular social media management tools, Hootsuite allows you to manage all of your social media channels from one dashboard and schedule your posts in advance. You can engage with and monitor all of your social accounts in one dashboard and use the auto-scheduling feature to plan all of your social media posts in advance. The tool’s insights also provide you with the data necessary to evaluate social growth and identify the content that your audience loves the most.
The free plan at Buffer lets you connect a profile from each network (one from Facebook, one from Twitter, etc.) and to schedule ahead 10 posts for each network.
This is the best Pinterest and Instagram scheduling tool ever! It allows you to pin your own content and repin others so you don’t have to spend so much time pinning. Tailwind Tribes are also an amazing secret weapon! Join like-minded people in your niche to share relevant content and grow your reach.
One of the best webinar platforms I've worked with.
A great way to conduct meetings with clients or host video interviews because it has recording functionality. Reliable high quality audio and video.
AUDIO & VIDEO
Creating audio and video content is the perfect way to showcase your brand. Here are the tools you need to get you started:
For amazing studio quality video without a complicated set-up.
Wistia provides professional video hosting with amazing viewer analytics. Wistia also makes it easy to see viewing trends of your videos, like how far most people get through your video, when they pause or click, etc
Multitrack audio recorder and editor. Used this reliably for many years when I was producing weekly podcasts.
Music creation studio available for Mac and iOS which is actually really fun to use.
Free video editing software that comes with Mac computers. Perfect for basic projects before you're ready to move onto FinalCut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro.
Upload audio content for direct streaming or embed it on your website.
If you need a good microphone for your podcasts or webinars, I highly recommend the Blue Snowball mic. It’s powerful, affordable and very easy to use. Mine has lasted 10 years without any issues.
Royalty-free sound clips and music for your podcasts or videos.
I use Photoshop, Acrobat and InDesign daily and love that cloud membership means no more updates.
A great photo editing app for your iPhone. Unless an app allows you to adjust color balance, saturation, and contrast, then it's not up to much. Snapseed does all this and more, and it's free!
A good photo editing app for social media images.
BUSINESS GROWTH BUNDLE
Growing your business doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, it should be fun! But sometimes it can be hard to know where to focus. To help, download the Story Tonic Business Bundle. These 6 Digital Worksheets will help you better understand your competition and know how to set your products and marketing apart, identify your ideal customer, and know what you need to differentiate your business as well as keep track of essential goals and metrics in your business.