Whew it’s been a minute since I’ve done one of these! I’d point you back to the past versions but that’ll defeat the whole purpose of this post: to show you who and what I’m workin’ with and what makes my business run now.
But as per usual, I also have my eye on the aspiring or new-ish business owner, so with everything I share I’ll let you know if I’d recommend it there or if you even need anything at all!
Arwyn Todd, developer
When my site needs updating, Arwyn is my gal. She’s the one who built it from the ground up for my last relaunch and the couple before that. She’s the one who fixes dead links and wonky spacing and switches sales pages off at exactly 6pm when I say apps are closing. She’s my Tech Titan and my WordPress Wizard and all other forms of alliteration.
Jamie Lose, Right Hand Lady
What does Jamie do for me? What doesn’t she do is more the question, you guys. If you’ve subscribed to my newsletter since the relaunch and got my series of 10 emails, she locked, loaded and tested all of those (just like she has with all of my emails!). She writes and loads my Facebook group posts and my business-y Instagram ones. She pitches, loads and coordinates my guest posts for my Client Case Studies; she helps me pitch myself for podcast interviews and makes me Powerpoints on how to best use Instagram and she’s just a dream from above.
Rebecca Pollock, Designer
Everything that you see from me that looks nice is from Bekky. Whether it’s a new sales page or a blog image or a Facebook ad graphic or a whole new website, it comes from Bekky and has always come from Bekky – since January 2010. She’s been my one-and-only since then and I’m constantly blown away by her work.
Stephanie Pollock, Bookkeeper
I hate math but I love knowing my business numbers. Stephanie makes my life easy by taking the former thing off my plate and the latter at my fingertips every month. I’ve been happy to delegate the monthly and yearly books to her for the past 2+ years and have real live Profit & Loss Reports sent to me like a proper serious business lady.
Lena West, Business Coach
Lena (no, she does *not* have a website) is my rock and the woman behind my freak-outs. 1-2 sessions/month gives me the clarity I need to know how I want to build and run my business – and what needs to happen to follow through. Part coach, part consultant and part goddess fallen from the heavens, this women is amazing and has already helped me bring more ease, systems and profits into my business.
It’s worth mentioning that everyone on the team is a freelancer and not a full-time employee. This means their schedules are flexible and benefits are not given by my LLC.
The Products & Platforms (don’t go down the rabbit hole too far!)
For CRM (Customer Relations Management): Dubsado*
I am just jumping on the Dubsado train – so much so that I hired someone to set it all up and she’s not quite finished with it yet – but man am I impressed with it. This is the power system I’ve been looking for, and will eventually replace Batchbook, HelloSign, TimeTrade, e-junkie, and Teamwork (which I all recommend – I’d just much rather have an all-in-one system and I’m about to be amazingly happy in streamlining this).
For anything more robust than your own spreadsheet, jump on the Dubsado train. The $25/month is a bargain considering you don’t need a platform to sign agreements, you can use it as a project management system, it makes selling and on boarding seamless and automatic and you can even have client portals like a boss (get excited, clients!). A scheduler is supposedly coming soon!
* The Dubsado links here are affiliate ones. Should you sign up for an account you get 20% off your first month. Huzzah!
For newsletters: Active Campaign
I really like ActiveCampaign because it’s so robust, yet the interface is pretty user-friendly and the automations you can do with it are really impressive. I love being able to, say, send an email just to people who clicked on a link or an automation for people who haven’t interacted with my list in a while and offer them the option to unsubscribe. Their customer service and pricing is great, too.
I recommend Mailchimp over and over for those just starting out, though. It’s free for 2K+ sign-ups and I think it’s the most user-friendly out there. However, I haven’t been hearing great things about the customer service lately (which makes me sad since it used to be incredible), so I might start recommending Active Campaign instead.
For social media management: Buffer
While it’s more buggy than I’d like it to be (how’s that for an opener?), Buffer is still my chosen platform to load and schedule Facebook group and Instagram posts all in one shot (you can link it to more, but that’s all I’m using now). Not a rousing endorsement, but I haven’t found anything better.
For email-ing and calendar-ing: Gmail
Is anyone using anything else? I have both personal and business accounts here, and I like keeping them separate. I even ponied up for more storage this year because #gifs.
For blogging/websiting: WordPress
Yeah, don’t go by this if you’re just starting out. If I had launched my business in the last 3-5 years (instead of in 2008), I would be on SquareSpace – and that’s what I encourage all my clients to do. I’ve yet to see a SquareSpace site not look professional, and that’s without any professional design or development help. And the drag-and-drop interface is about as easy as it gets. I just stick to WordPress because it’s not broken for me so I’m not looking to fix it.
For conference calls: Zoom
I’ve phased out audio-only conferences entirely. I love Zoom Meetings because the connection and recordings are reliable, you can dial-in or use your laptop, you can choose whether you want to turn your camera on, and the chat feature gets two thumbs up. You can have 40-min calls for free, too! The paid version is well worth it, though – way more reliable than Skype, that’s for sure.
I want to add a HUGE caveat to this before I sign off, though. If you’re spending most of your time as a new-ish or aspiring business owner researching and setting up your systems, you’re doing it wrong. These should help support your money-making work – not replace it!
Need help getting out of the busy work and into the work that actually leads to new clients and customers? I know you want The Perfect Scheduler, but spending time there instead of the tasks that make your business more visible will not bring in the dollars. Thankfully, the no-obligation application for my 6-month mastermind is waiting for you here, along with early bird pricing through 6pm EST tonight! Let me help you end 2018 with the business bang you’re gunning for.