Let’s face it: running an online business isn’t easy. Hardwork and elbow grease mean nothing if you don’t have the right marketing, audience and conversions to keep your business afloat. In today’s crowded online marketplace, starting a business can seem like an impossible task. But it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of tools that can help you streamline processes so you can reinvest your time into revenue generating activities. Over the years, I’ve experienced my fair share of challenges when it came to running my online SEO consulting firm. Along the way, I utilized countless tools that helped pave the way for my success. Check out this list of some of my favorite tools that will help you kickstart your online business.
Utilizing in a CRM isn’t optional for an online business: it’s a requirement. These online systems can simplify your entire sales process, from segmenting leads and customers to automating follow-ups. Infusionsoft is my personal favorite CRM thanks to its many user-friendly features. Infusionsoft makes it easy to import, segment and tag contacts so you can fully capitalize on every lead. It’s also a one-stop shop for sales, as it has one central dashboard for setting up inventory, discounts and billing. Infusionsoft been a huge asset in my email marketing. All I have to do is tag my leads, draft up emails, preset outreach times and let Infusionsoft do the rest.
Looking for a recurring revenue stream? Start a membership site. This is a great way to grow your tribe while also getting guaranteed income every month. There are a number of membership plugins for WordPress users, but my personal favorite is Memberium. This user-friendly plugin helps you easily manage members, drip content, and automate billing. The best part? It easily integrates with Infusionsoft and other CRMs so you can manage your landing pages and email marketing all in one place.
Believe it or not, only 5-10% of your followers see any given post. Your most ardent supporters might miss a golden tweet simply because they weren’t online. Still, businesses choose to spend hours carefully crafting posts that will go largely unseen.You can save precious time and resources by scheduling your posts in advance. With Edgar, you can pre-set your posts for the week so you don’t have to worry about your social media calendar. Edgar takes it one step further in that it stores all of your content in its library. This makes it easy to repurpose previously shared content, so your followers won’t miss that super shareable piece of content. Check out my interview with Edgar founder Laura Roeder for more insights.
We’ve all been stuck on the dreaded phone tree. A poor Facebook Messenger strategy is the online equivalent of the phone tree: it leaves customers feeling frustrated and unvalued. With ManyChat, you can uplevel your marketing, sales and support on Facebook Messenger. This nifty tool lets you create a Facebook Messenger bot that responds to inbound queries, answers questions and fosters leads. By responding to questions in real time, you can easily turn Facebook users into subscribers and, eventually, customers.
What’s the secret weapon to running a business? Delegating. Virtual assistants are a godsend for busy online business owners. They can handle the dirty work of scheduling calls, navigating your inbox, and managing your to-do list so you can focus on big picture items.There’s no shortage of online recruiting sites that help businesses find their perfect candidate. For the budget-minded business owner, check out Onlinejobs.ph. It’s a huge marketplace for hiring virtual assistants from the Philippines. This one-stop shop lets you screen interview, hire and pay your VAs. Other great hiring resources include sidekicks.co and priorityva.com.
It’s easy for important tasks to get lost in the shuffle. Asana is a great resource to help manage your workflow and stay on track no matter how many tasks are on your to-do list.Asana is a web and mobile app that helps manage all of your projects from one central portal. You can also add due dates so you can see your deadlines when logging in to your dashboard. This tool is extremely helpful for managing a virtual team. It streamlines communication and keeps everyone on schedule—even when they’re juggling multiple tasks.
Split testing is key when it comes to optimizing your marketing and your website. New businesses need to test all of the details on their site, right down to CTAs, font colors and graphics.With Optimizely, you can eliminate the guesswork by split testing changes to your site. This experimentation platform will help you discover the best versions of your sites and campaigns. The best part? Optimizely lets you control who sees your experiments and does the dirty work of segmenting responses for you.
8. Process Street
You’re bound to experience growing pains in your business. As you continue to develop, you’ll be able to identify the best workflows and procedures for recurring activities. That’s where Process Street comes in.Process Street is a helpful (and free) tool that lets you create checklists that you can share with your virtual team. As team members go through the checklist, they have to tick boxes before moving on to the next task. By automating workflows, you can ensure that recurring tasks are completed on time and error-free.For more great tools, check out my other resources including guides, webinars, whitepapers and more. Photo by Aleksandar Cvetanović from Pexels
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