As entrepreneurs, we’re all juggling so many tasks that sometimes taking a step back to get more strategic about our businesses doesn’t happen as often as we’d like. Taking the time to get more organized and automate can really transform your business because it allows you to build for future growth rather than focusing on day-to-day execution. I want to share some tools that will seriously help free up your time so that you can focus on more important things —things that will actually translate to more business.
I don’t think I could live without this client management tool. HoneyBook not only helps you stay organized with templates, notifications, a calendar, team management, and reports, but it also gives your client an incredibly professional experience, from proposal to invoice. Clients can book and pay online without ever having to print anything and can collaborate and communicate easily with you through HoneyBook’s messaging feature. It also syncs with Quickbooks to make staying on top of your accounting less of a hassle, and the Honeybook mobile app that lets you manage everything on the go. This tool is well worth the investment (about $40/month or $400/year). It will save you a crazy amount of time managing all the moving parts of your business, and it will make a great impression on your clients. Plus, there’s nothing like getting that “Booked and Paid!” email on a crappy day!
Asana is the ultimate project management tool. It’s super user-friendly, so even team members who have no experience with the tool can figure it out without little (if any) direction. It allows you to assign tasks and see exactly where they are in the pipeline with tags, deadlines, and a color-coded calendar. Team members can see their tasks as well as the collective calendar and communicate directly with each other for seamless collaboration. Asana has a free basic version for up to 15 team members that is perfect if you’re just starting out. For more features and bigger teams, there’s a premium version priced at $8.33 per member per month.
I also use DaPulse in my law firm (separate biz) to visually see exactly where each project is (it’s color-coded). It’s a little more expensive, but if you’re graphically-inclined it could be a great alternative that accomplishes the same result. I have to give a shout out and a thanks to Lauren Hooker for telling me about this tool.
Leadpages allows you to create gorgeous landing pages super easily. [FYI- a ‘landing page’ is just a really basic page that usually only has one action on it — like “click here,” “register here,” etc. They’re super helpful for converting strangers into leads.] If you can click and drag, you can handle this. You can also make custom opt-in forms so that when you want to offer some kind of bonus to your subscribers, Leadpages saves you the work of figuring out which subscribers to send what and sends your freebie automatically to those who subscribed from your opt-in box. You can also segment your email list and utilize Leadpage’s A/B testing to improve your email marketing strategy. I know, I know, I just lost some of you there — but I promise it will come in handy one day and you’ll be happy you have everything else set up by the time you’re ready to start using A/B testing. Leadpages is so worth the investment ($25/month when billed annually) because it will help you build leads and subscribers, which translates to actual business. If you’re ready to start producing a decent amount of content + income via your blog, podcast, Instagram or other platform, it will pay for itself pretty quickly.
4. Google Docs
It’s obvious what these are and that they’re free, but maybe you’re not familiar with how to use them in the business context. On my team, we use Google Docs and Drive for evvverrrythinnggg after switching from Microsoft Word and Apple Pages + Dropbox. There’s nothing that beats having your blog posts and content stored digitally in a medium that can be collaboratively sourced. I was definitely resistant to giving up the tried-and-true programs on my computer, but can never go back now. To give you an idea of some ways we use Google Apps:
Before I get into the gobbledy-gook of the tech, here’s the number one reason I use Privy: because it’s PRETTY! No one likes pop-ups, especially if they’re ugly. Privy lets you to create opt-in forms and landing pages with a drag-and-drop design feature. You can tailor your message to your target audience based on exit intent, geography, cart value, referral path, device type, and more. You can send out emails to online customers who clicked out before placing their order, which can recuperate potentially lost sales. The A/B testing function allows you to analyze how your messages affect your opt-in rates. Privy integrates seamlessly with a ton of email marketing, CRM, ecommerce, and site building platforms. Their most basic plan with unlimited landing pages and unlimited signup volume is free, but if you need more features, there’s the Plus plan at $24/month that includes custom fields, device targeting, and real-time email notifications. Privy is another tool that can help boost your sales.