It takes more than hard work, enviable talent, and a stunning personality to build a successful business.
Although I consider myself to be a solo-business builder, I still have a small crowd of humans and a significant arsenal of tools at my disposal.
It took me a couple of years of trial and error to line up the resources I needed more my business. One of things that helped me most was the recommendations from other entrepreneurs.
So do you wanna take a peek inside my toolkit?
The writewithworditude.com website is built on WordPress, with the Divi theme from Elegant Themes*.
I built the site myself. if you can learn how to at least update your site yourself, do - it makes it much easier for you to try new ideas in the early stages of your business, when you’re experimenting with what works best for you and your audience. Find out more about that here: DIY vs Web Designer plus the option you haven’t considered yet.
When I first got started with email marketing, I used Mailchimp - because it’s fairly straightforward and most importantly for any new business, it’s F-R-E-E. Once I’d surpassed the number of subscribers I was allowed for free, I switched to Convertkit, which for similar pricing, offers much better functionality.
I’ve also heard that MailerLite is a good free option for new businesses.
Skype and I have never been friends. For professional video chats, or calls with multiple participants, take a look at Zoom* - there is a free option available so you can try it out.
And make it super-easy to arrange call times with Calendly - you set your availability, share the link so your client/interviewee can pick a call time that suits you both.
Everything I’ve ever needed to know about running a membership site, I’ve found at the Member Site Academy*. Founders of MSA, the Membership Guys have a very informative podcast and a free Facebook group, The Membership Mastermind.
Almost all my graphics for my website and social media are made in Designsta*. It’s a graphics platform with the option to be a VIP and receive feedback and support with your graphics creations. I’d be lost without it, because left to my own devices I would make seriously u-g-l-y graphics. And there’s a stack of ready-made templates to use if you need a pretty image in a hurry.
For stock photos I use Deposit Photos*. When I was first in business I wasted so much time hunting for free graphics I could use. A year ago a deal came up on AppSumo* for 100 images, so I snapped that up and have saved so much time by making Deposit Photos my go-to place for stock images.
I had so much f-e-a-r when it came to video, I never thought I’d get over it. But with practice it got so much easier. I keep my equipment and tech set-up simple to make recording and editing videos as quick and easy as possible.
To record the videos I use the Logitech Pro C920 webcam and the Blue Yeti microphone.
for Pinterest, I use Tailwind* - I don’t love it - it’s slow and clunky, but there aren’t many other options. When choosing the right scheduling tool for you, make sure you check out the list of Pinterest approved partners. Earlier this year I’d been using BoardBooster which was not an approved tool, and I think this had hurt my traffic levels from Pinterest. BoardBooster has since folded, so now I'm only pinning through Tailwind.
Support - Get Some!
Your family love you, but it’s very unlikely they understand the crazy entrepreneurial drive that has lured you into self-employment. Surround yourself with other business-builders so you can get the support, encouragement and wisdom you need.
I’m a member of the Female Entrepreneur Association which gives me access to their huge Facebook group, and new educational resources every month.
I’m also in Nadia Finer’s, Profit Pack - which is more focussed on scaling your business from a 1-1 to a 1-many model (by launching a membership or an online course).
To get support without the expense there are three free online groups I love:
* Making Mumpreneurs Community for women doing the business-family juggle: https://www.facebook.com/groups/makingmumpreneursclub/
* Social Beehive for help making social media work for your business: https://www.facebook.com/groups/socialbeeni/
* Bite The Biscuit for creative souls making a living from their art: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bitethebiscuit/
I think that's quite enough resources to hit you with for now.
You might also like:
♦ Free Facebook Groups For Small Business Owners
*Links with a star are affiliate links. This means that for every customer I refer via those links I may receive a ‘thank you’ commission. This is at no extra cost to you. I am only affiliate for products and services I have tried, tested and loved myself.