Every business has its secret to success. While we don’t know your trade secret, we do know most companies aren’t successful on their own. They have a team of supporters behind them and a slew of resources, keeping them on track and organized. Whether it’s your business, your side hustle, or a passion project, there are tools you can implement today to take your work to the next level.
It’s 2021. You know you need an online presence, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming. A word for the wise, you don’t have to do it all, but whatever you choose to do, do it well. You don’t need to be on every social media platform. Identify what works well for your brand, and focus your efforts there. It’s better to be well-known for a great Instagram feed than to be known for a half-baked social media presence on every platform.
A website is a must, but most of us aren’t digital experts. If you need someone to help you design and brand your website, we love Laura Coddington at Ocean Digital Studio. If you like the look of our sites (TheEverydayReal.com and FemalesInFood.community), you’ll love Laura because she helped us create their beauties!
If you feel up to the challenge and want to tackle your website on your own, Squarespace has a super simple user interface and dozens of templates that are perfect for novice professionals. If you want something more customizable, check out WordPress and Flywheel, a service that compliments WordPress and will help you host and design your website. People don’t only want to read about you on your website; they want to see you. Vimeo is a great platform to create and host your video content.
While your website is key, don’t forget to set up a Google business page. This allows customers to find you, lets people leave and read reviews, and allows you to control your online narrative.
You can reach your audience through your website and social media, but what if you have an important message you want to make sure you deliver directly in their inbox? That’s where email comes into play. We can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining an email list. Set up a sign-up form on your website and begin building the email list of your customers and followers. We love Mailchimp to help us manage our email list and craft communications. It’s easy to use and free to sign-up.
Social media provides you with daily touchpoints with your followers and potential customers. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain a presence to keep your brand, and more importantly, your products and services, top of mind. Make sure to do your research and understand where your audience spends their time and focus on those platforms. You don’t have to do it all, but what you do, do it well. For all things social media and media advertisement, Allissa Lewis at Ellington Social is a powerhouse. She can help you manage and strategize your social media presence, as well as navigate paid advertising and campaigns.
If you’re looking for assistance scheduling your social media posts so you can plan your content in advance and be “on” without really being online, check out the marketing platform Later. This tool allows you to visually plan and schedule your Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok posts, allowing you to save time and add consistency to your content.
Everyone has their own method to their madness. Paper planners, notebooks, Google calendars. No matter what works for you staying organized is essential to your success. Project management tools like ClickUp help you organize tasks, collaborate with team members, and stay on track to meet your goals.
To schedule meetings without all the back and forth emails, set up a Calendly account. It integrates with your existing Google or Outlook calendar, so all you have to do is send your Calendly link, and people can grab a time slot when you’re available.
Canva is the online graphic design software that everyone can use. Its easy-to-understand and easy-to-use interface makes creating graphics, presentations, and marketing materials a breeze no matter your level of design experience.
Speaking of design, establishing a brand kit for your business or side hustle is a must. It helps you establish your brand font, colors, and aesthetic so you can maintain consistency. Create your own brand guidelines to share with your team and partners using a Canva template or hire a professional for a more in-depth and customized experience.
While our businesses and side hustles fulfill us and serve a greater purpose, they also afford us a means to make a living. Even if the goal of your passion project isn’t to make money, we can’t stress enough the importance of keeping track of your finances. Maintaining a record of your financials can feel overwhelming. We’re not financial experts, so be sure to consult with a financial professional or accountant for financial advice, but here are a few things we love.
If you want to get a grasp on your money, you can start with the basics by tracking your income and expenses in an excel spreadsheet. If that feels like too much, make the process more automated using Quickbooks. Using a platform to integrate with your business invoices and bank accounts helps take the guesswork out of it. For an easy-to-use tool to process online payments and manage your business online, check out Stripe. No matter the size of your business, Stripe can help automate some of your processes.