Tools I Use, Love & Recommend

When it comes to running an online business as efficiently as possible, you will need software to help you grow. Here are the best tools I have used, either for myself or on behalf of clients. I highly recommend everything on this list. If something is not on this list, it’s likely I’ve tried it and I didn’t like it.

There are some affiliate links in this list. That means that if you sign up to the software and pay fees I may get a small commission. This is certainly not why I’m recommending them. I’m recommending them to you because they will make your online business life a whole lot easier. There are also lots of options here that are free to you or there is no affiliate program available.

online tools

 

Email Marketing 

Active Campaign

This is a good option for email marketing for a digital product business or blogger who wants to have access to a CRM and a robust email tool without blowing the budget. It does have some deliverability issues in my own experience (but they all do these days), but many online marketers use and love Active Campaign and wouldn’t consider anything else. For me, the top feature of Active Campaign is the email sequences you can build and view – great for the visual thinker like me! It also integrates with pretty much everything.

Check out Active Campaign here

Convert Kit

If you’re an online business, then a great email service provider to get started with is Convert Kit. It does everything you need, is super intuitive and caters really well to bloggers and those selling digital products. I rate it higher than Active Campaign but it is a little more per month (depending on the size of your email list). 

Check out Convert Kit here

Klaviyo

If you’re running an eCommerce store, there is only one option for email marketing as far as I’m concerned and that is Klaviyo. It has some great integrations, reliable deliverability and is your best option if you are looking to grow. 

Check out Klaviyo here

 

Landing page builders

Clickfunnels 

After trialling quite a few different landing page builders, as well as WordPress plug-ins, I still can’t go past Clickfunnels for creating quick and beautiful landing pages. Their page builder is the easiest to master!  

Clickfunnels also comes with a membership area for no extra fee, which is a great feature to get started with hosting online courses and training. 

Check out Clickfunnels here and trial it free for 14 days

LeadPages

This is a more cost-effective option compared to Clickfunnels. I find it a bit harder to use and it doesn’t have the membership option, however for $37 a month on the lowest plan, it does the job and can be a great option when you’re getting started. 

Check out Leadpages here

 

Quiz builders

Interact

If you’re focused on growing the size of your email list, a quiz is a great option. Something quirky that will not only help you meet your lead generation goals, but also provide a fun and interactive experience for your new leads! Interact is a great easy to use and affordable option. 

Check out Interact here

 

Shopping cart 

Thrive Cart 

This is what I personally use to process all my online payments. It’s secure, it’s reliable and it provides some great integrations with a range of email service providers. You are also able to design a shopping cart experience that promotes conversions and is seamless from a customer viewpoint. Bonus – it’s a one time purchase so no ongoing fees. I highly recommend this one! 

Check out ThriveCart here

Clickfunnels

As well as landing pages, sales pages and membership areas, you can also create shopping carts within Clickfunnels. It really is a great all round tool to have within your online business. 

Check out Clickfunnels here and trial it free for 14 days

 

Payment processors 

Stripe

If you’re looking for a reliable payment processor, then Stripe is the way to go. It integrates with most shopping carts and payment is delivered to your bank account within days. 

Check out Stripe here

PayPal

This is a good option to have available as many people are already using PayPa to make purchases online! That is the number one reason to use it, otherwise Stripe offers cheaper transaction fees. 

Check out PayPal here

 

Accounting Software

Xero

Xero is my favourite accounting software because it’s made in NZ of course! Besides that little fact though, it’s a very robust accounting tool that will allow you to keep track of all your business moneys and give you the reports you need to make smart business decisions.

Check out Xero here

 

Proposals and Contracts

Proposify

If you are providing services, it’s vital that you present what you can provide in a way that showcases the quality of work they can expect from you. And it’s also vital that you lay out the conditions of the contract and have your client sign them before you get started. This can sometimes turn into a real hassle if you’re not using an electronic signing tool. Proposify is a tool that I personally use and combines both proposals into one platform. It’s so intuitive and easy to use – I couldn’t do business without it.

Check out Proposify here

 

File Storage

Amazon s3

If you’re providing your customers with a lot of PDF downloads, then you need somewhere reliable to host them. Amazon s3 is a great option for this, because it is so cheap! It’s also very seamless for the person downloading the item, as it’s a simple click and download. No more telling people how to find the download button in Dropbox (PS. I’m not a Dropbox fan as it is far too expensive). 

Don’t be put off by the techy jargon, you can easily set up what you need to deliver your goodies to your leads and clients at very little to no cost. 

Check out Amazon s3 here 

Google Drive 

I honestly could not do business without Google Drive….well it would be a lot harder. With a GSuite account, you get access to a large amount of storage space inside Google Drive. Not to mention the collaborative documents, spreadsheets and slides. I share documents with my coaching clients for live edits and feedback. Everything important in my business is inside Google Drive! It’s an absolute must for your business. 

If you use the link below with a referral link, you will get 20% off for your entire first year. Reach out to us to get your referral link.

Check out Google Drive here 

 

Email Hosting for Business

GSuite 

This email hosting tool from Google offers much more than just email – in fact there’s an entire suite of products. Many of these products are ones I use every single day in my business. Collaborative tools such as Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides are vital for teams to work on the same document and see changes in real time. This is a must have business tool in my opinion. 

If you use the link below with a referral link, you will get 20% off for your entire first year. Reach out to us to get your referral link.

Check out GSuite here

 

Project management 

Trello

I personally use Trello to run my business and keep track of all my tasks. I’m a visual person and like to see it all laid out in front of me and Trello just works with my brain! It’s great for setting up processes that you can then replicate over and over again to get things done. It’s also really easy to move tasks around – I just love it! 

Check out Trello here

Asana 

Asana is another great project management tool that works really well for a lot of people. Definitely worth trialling and I find most entrepreneurs either love this or prefer Trello – we’re all different! 

Check out Asana here

 

Productivity 

Freedom App 

If you struggle to focus and find yourself deep in the scroll without even realising it, you need an app blocking app like Freedom! 

You have so much control over the settings and you choose specifically what websites you want to block and for how long. And handy tip – this is super helpful for kids who are meant to be doing their schoolwork! 

Check out Freedom app here

Focus Keeper – Pomodoro app

Sometimes when I’m struggling to focus, there is nothing more effective to break me out of the funk than a few sprints using the Pomodoro method. A Pomodoro is 25 minutes focus, with a 5 minute break, repeated four times. You can do it once a day or repeat multiple times – it really works! 

I use the iOS app Focus Keeper on my iPhone to track all of this and get me moving. 

Check out Focus Keeper here

 

Membership & Online Course Platforms 

Kajabi

If you’re looking for a place to host all of your online courses (or even just one of them), then Kajabi is a great option. Their message is that they are an all-in-one online business platform, but first and foremost it is a course hosting platform. The advantage here is that the course hosting feature is their most important asset, rather than an additional feature added on later. If you’re serious about growing your online course business, then Kajabi is an option you must consider! It also has an app which is great for your course participants to watch on the go.

Check out Kajabi here

Clickfunnels

There isn’t much that this platform doesn’t offer! You can quickly set up professional memberships sites and online courses with their membership feature. It is missing a few bells and whistles but you get it included on the lowest Clickfunnels pricing plan anyway so it’s a great starter if you also need their landing page builder.

Check out Clickfunnels here and try it free for 14 days

 

Website Hosting 

Siteground

If you’ve got a WordPress website, Siteground provides a really solid web hosting service. They are so quick with support too, which is the main reason I rate them so highly. Because when something goes wrong with your website, you will be so grateful for that fast support. 

Check out Siteground here

 

Screen recording 

Screenflow

If you’re filming an online course where you’re recording lessons or slides on your screen, Screenflow is the best (for a Mac). I highly recommend it if you want to be able to edit your videos. You buy a license so buy it once, use it forever! 

Check out Screenflow here

Useloom.com

If you’re filming short little video tutorials on your computer screen, Loom is super handy. I do find it a little buggy at times though so it’s not as reliable as Screenflow but a good option if you’re on a budget. 

Check out Loom here

 

Video conferencing 

Zoom 

Zoom is my current favourite for my coaching calls as it’s secure, I can record all my calls and they save in the cloud or download to my computer. Another feature I love about it is that on the Pro plan, you can livestream straight to Facebook or YouTube, either by yourself or with guests on the call. 

It’s fairly easy to use for your clients too, they have to download Zoom when they use it the first time and that’s it. You can dial in from your desktop, your laptop or your mobile from anywhere with an internet connection. 

Check out Zoom here 

 

Video hosting

Vimeo

Online businesses often rely on a lot of video for marketing and for teaching your students. You need somewhere to store all of these videos so that they can embedded into your online course platform. Vimeo is great for this – it’s cost-effective, you have total control over the privacy settings and you can change the colours of the video functions to suit your brand!

Check out Vimeo here

 

Online appointment scheduling software

Calendly

Calendly is a great solution to set your calendar and just send your link quickly so people can book a time with you. This streamlines this whole process (because who wants to email back and forth about finding a time to meet!)

You can also embed these calendars onto a web page and it looks mint! 

Check out Calendly here

 

SEO Tools 

SEMRush

If you’re really keen to get your website ranked on Google and you’re ready to go all in, you’re going really benefit from the help of a really good SEO tool. For this, you can’t go past SEMRush. It has so many features that will help you grow your Google rankings, from keyword research to competitor analysis. 

Check out SEMRush here

SERanking 

If you’re looking for an up-and-coming SEO tool but you’re not so keen on paying the big bucks for SEMRush, SE Ranking is a nice option in the middle. Easily track your keyword rankings and keep track of your websites performance. 

Check out SE Ranking here 

Yoast Premium for WordPress 

If you’ve got a WordPress website, it’s worth having a good SEO plugin that will help keep you on track with your on-page optimisation. For this I recommend the Yoast Premium plug-in which manages all of your redirects plus a whole bunch of handy features. It also has a free version so you can test it out first. 

Check out Yoast here 

 

Website builders

Conversion Cats

This is a WordPress theme for those of you who are looking for a theme that is set up to generate leads. Great for bloggers and online course creators, the purchase of this theme comes with full training instructions so you can create the website yourself within just a few short days. There is also ongoing support available to help with any teething issues along the way. This is a great option if you’re looking to DIY without any tech hiccups. This is also the theme that I personally use to run my business website. 

Check out Conversion Cats here

Shopify

If you’re looking at setting up an online store, Shopify is the best out there. You pay a monthly fee according to your needs, so there’s a good option from startup to scaling. There is access to a huge variety of apps for any of your marketing needs and it’s also a very SEO friendly website platform. 

Check out Shopify here

 

Social media scheduling 

There’s no doubt that platforms favour if you post directly on their platform. But sometimes this isn’t possible if you’re on limited time. So below I am recommending the next best options. 

Buffer

This is a good cost-effective option if you’re looking to manage a few different social media platforms from one place. 

Check out Buffer here

Later

This scheduling app is really useful if you want to schedule your Instagram posts from your desktop. You can schedule up to 30 posts per month on their free plan, and have the option to schedule your Instagram stories from their paid plans. You can preview your feed before you post, and choose between auto posting or posting via a notification (which might improve your reach). A great Insta tool to have up your sleeve! 

Check out Later here

SmarterQueue

I have used SmarterQueue in the past and some of my clients use it with great success. It has such an intuitive calendar view that it really is so easy to use (unlike some other options out there). The true power in SmarterQueue though is that you can schedule posts to recycle more than once which is great for automation. You can also schedule to Facebook groups. 

Check out SmarterQueue here

 

Graphic Design 

Canva 

Let’s face it, most of us are not designers and never will be. Not having this skill set can be a bit of an issue to making our marketing look good. Fortunately there’s Canva – the best design platform for non-designers out! 

Check out Canva here

Canva Dream Kit (Canva templates)

It’s all good having Canva, but it’s still something else to produce templates that look good and don’t take months to produce! That’s why I absolute love these resources in this extremely low cost pack from Anchora Design Co. For only $27, you get templates for eBooks and freebies, social media templates and blog post templates. And a massive bonus are the lessons on how to create posts using movement with videos placed into images and animations. I can’t recommend this enough to elevate your design!

Check out Canva Dream Kit here