Note from Diane: Someone recently asked me what tools I recommend to “get everything done” without hiring 10 people to do it all for me, hence I decided to share what have been my top tools of 2016 that I would class as Tools of Titans (in the words of the latest Tim Ferriss best selling book)
When you are dreaming about an online business, making money online, passive income, residual revenues and making money while you sleep, you also have to bear in mind that you also need an extremely practical way to do the work of several people in half the time.
My business mentor always used to say “when you want something doing ask a BUSY person!”
That may sound a little back to front to some, but busy people are usually extremely well organised and have found may ways to get more done in half the time and they always execute their daily method of operation flawlessly.
So as 2016 comes to a close next month and the Christmas spirit shines down on us all, you may want to make a few notes about how to use software and Tools of Titans to get more done in less time in 2017 and beyond.
Feature Article :Top Tools Of 2016 That I Would Class As Tools of Titans
1. Social Media Scheduling Tools
I frequently hear moans and groans from small business owners about social media and it's place in determining where time is well spent and where it isn't.
Having spent many long years in a traditional bricks and mortar business with only Yellow Pages and the local Newspapers and Magazines as advertising outlets (costing thousands of pounds per month) when I first saw what Digital Marketing offers small business owners today, I'm like “Are you kidding me?”
What small business owner wouldn't be interested in using tools that build relationships with people, that offer the potential to reach thousands of people DAILY for free and are a whole lot of fun to do?
I know it's not as EASY as that but it really is that SIMPLE.
It's whether you choose to outsource it as a busy small business owners or whether you choose to learn the skills as an entrepreneur, social media today is bigger than ever before and still growing.
So what tools have I used to make this a whole lot easier to manage in 2016? Here are my 12 Tools of Titans.
- Hootsuite is still a fantastic scheduling tool and not only allows you to post from your desktop to Instagram (via the Hootsuite app) it also allows you to handle Twitter mentions and monitor trends easily.
- Meet Edgar has been a life saver at times this year. I tend to travel a lot and the library feature with the automated post schedule option meant that I was merrily posting content as “live” as can be whilst I was literally in the middle of the ocean lapping up a Caribbean Cruise. It's very good value for money and extremely reliable, definitely a Tool for Titans.
- Cinchshare was a recommend from a friend of mine recently and I have been using it much more recently. It's very user friendly, handles everything you want to throw at it and a very neat built in feature is the easy Pin to Pinterest option for all your creations and posts. (Pinterest has become a force to be reckoned with this year for website traffic where it has at times taken over from Facebook on some of our niche websites.)
- Where would I be without Canva I often ask myself? I'm no graphic designer but it is a serious contender for my Tool of Titans 2016 award as it makes content creation, images and adverts so incredibly easy to do in literally minutes per day. A great feature inside Cinchshare is a direct link to open Canva which makes everything even quicker and easier.
Please bear in mind that whatever tool you choose to use, there will be a learning curve to using it. If you are not the creative type as it were you may want to think about outsourcing social media altogether and we have created a “done for you service” that does exactly that.
2. Productivity & Management Tools
- Quickbooks online is a life saver if you are trying to stay on top of your business ans with the new Quickbooks online banking integration allowing you to automatically download transactions every day you have everything you need to organise, control and grow your business in minutes per day.
- Asana is quite simply amazing. And recently added an amazing new optional VIEW as BOARD format (rather than a list format) which is like spreading out all your post it notes on the kitchen table and organising them into to do tasks that can be moved, edited and executed easily.
- Good old Excel Spreadsheets. For monitoring anything, making cashflow projections, micro-managing any aspects of costs in your business, managing leads and sales it just keeps coming up trumps!
- Microsoft Publisher is still (after over 8 years) hands down the easiest way to create Free Reports, Online brochures, hand outs, flyers, letter heads, calendars and lots of other desk top publishing tasks that every small business owner faces in the day to day running of his or her business.
3. Wordpress & Digital Marketing Tools of Titans
- I still love OptimizePress as a WordPress theme, it's a beautiful suite of marketing tools and the recent additional PlusPack plugin offers animations and video background designs features to an already impressive array of features plus excellent support. Tempted as I always am whenever I work on a new WordPress website with lots of modern elements and whizz bang features, the essence of a perpetual online marketing funnel for me starts and finishes with OptimizePress.
- Leadpages is always in the top 10 tools of titans list for it's amazing range of landing, thank you and webinar pages that provide any small business owner with the opportunity to increase conversions and build an email list for their business.
- Email service providers like Mailchimp and Aweber are always tools of titans that every small business owners should be using on a daily or weekly basis to help build relationships with the people on their email list. Email marketing (when used correctly) can be an invaluable way to serve your existing and future customers in a unique way and it's something we should all focus on improving within our existing businesses in 2017 and beyond.
- And finally Microsoft One Note or Evernote for making sense of all those ideas, making notes on all those trainings, writing down everything from all the research you do and generally coming to the rescue of reaching moments when you think your brain might explode.
The key to successfully making sure you focus more of your time doing tasks that will ultimately grow your leads and enquiries that generate more sales for your business is to create a Daily Method of Operation that manages the “day to day” tasks easily, quickly and efficiently.
The only way a solopreneur, home based business owner or busy small business owner can do that is by using software to do the heavy lifting for you. It takes a little bit of practise to find what works for you but you will never look back once you have it all down to a fine art.
- Scheduling up your social media daily is an easy way to free up valuable time for other tasks. When you plan ahead and use my Facebook Content Map you'll find it even easier and faster than sitting there day after day wondering what to post.
- You can resist it as long as you wish, but Canva is the best solution to producing images we've ever had access to.
- Leadpages are the perfect hosting platform for evergreen webinars that work 24/7/365 days of the year for you.
- Email marketing is something that many people believe to be “dead” or ineffective, the prediction is that in 2017 it may become one of the most important elements of your marketing once again.
To your online marketing success!