To grow your business you will need to use certain tools, I have listed the ones I find most valuable in this post. most are free but some have to be paid for. This is your business and to grow you will need to invest in some areas. If they are out of your price range for now I will do my best to offer you a free alternative.
These tools are the ones I use personally and I feel they have made my business more successful. I am not affiliated with these tools in any way, (oh, except the Tailwind Tribe, that is my tribe and if you join I do get a discount on my tailwind).
If this then that - I have written a complete blog post about this fantastic free tool. It automates so much of my business and it is great for freeing up so much time!
Firstly if you are not using Pinterest then get on that right now! If you only promote your products in one place make it Pinterest! Pinning regularly throughout the day, fresh pins is a lot of work. That is where Tailwind comes in, it selects the best times for you to pin based on your followers and will pin for you at these times. You do have to pay for Tailwind and yes it is a service you could do yourself, but if you don't want to be chained to your Pinterest account all day long, Tailwind is the way to go!
Tribes is a part of Tailwind that not only helps get your content out it also provides you with fresh content that you can also pin for others. The idea is you submit your pins to the tribe for others to pin and in return you pin theirs, read this post for more information on tribes. I run The Rising Tide Tribe, it is a very active and successful tribe so please do request to join.
If you make digital products, Google classroom or PowerPoint presentations, this tool will saves you hours and hours of time. It is great value at $24.99 but yes you can do it yourself. You can save your slides as pictures, then go back into a new presentation and reinsert each picture as a slide. You can do that for free but when you are reinserting your 10,000th slide you might wish you had spent the money.
Dropbox is free up to a certain amount of storage. I pay monthly to store my files safely and access them from anywhere, my phone, iPad and other computers. I think using dropbox, or something similar such as google drive or One Drive is vital for an online business.
Inshot is an app that I use on my phone to edit my photos and videos. It is free and it is absolutely brilliant! you can adjust lighting and colour. You can crop and change your pictures so much!
For a long time I didn't understand the point of Canva. I thought that as I use PowerPoint to design my products and pictures, why would I need an online service as well? But I was wrong!
Canva is fantastic for social media posts, not only does it have pre-sized templates, it has pictures and fonts ready made into posts. It makes creating social media posts so easy! (and it's free)
This is a simple free app that lets you easily add your logo to pictures and videos. You just save your logo or water mark to the app and then stamp it on your pictures before posting to social media.
until recently you couldn't schedule your Instagram pictures to go out automatically but that has now all change! Planoly is a great tool! It is free for up to 30 posts a month and I love it! Upload your pictures, descriptions and hashtags and it will post them to Instagram for you at the time you select. Couldn't be easier.
The amount of information you can obtain from Google analytics is amazing! You can check your visitors, where they came from, what page they started on, where they moved to and how long they spent on each page. You can see what they searched to find you, what social media they used and if they are new visitors or not. There is so much you can learn about your site from Google Analytics and using that information to your advantage.
Unfortunately you can only use it for your own sites or TES, TPT doesn't support it.
This is a service a lot like Planoly but for Twitter. you can plan and schedule your tweets to go out at the times you want. It also lets you retweet to your own schedule, which is very useful for keeping your Twitter account rolling!
If you have an HP printer then you need this service. You select the plan you want to use and just print away. You pay a monthly fee for a certain number of pages and when ink runs low they send you replacements. It works out so much cheaper than constantly buying ink. (and takes the hassle out of it)
This website used to be the best thing ever! Unfortunately TPT changed its systems and you cannot access all the features any more, (this is not the fault of the people running the site, just TPT changed things). However, this site is still VERY useful for TPT stores. You can see how your sales are doing comparing month on month, you can also check where your products appear in search when you use different search terms, to see if your customers will be able to find you. It is a great tool!
If you are interested in SEO (and as you run an online business you really should be!) this free site is what you need, it will help you find the keywords you need to include in your descriptions and titles! It is great!
If you create reading passages this is the site you need! Just enter your passage and it will tell you the reading age for the text. It is not incredibly accurate but will give you a general idea of the age group your work should be aimed at.
These are just some of the tools I use for my business, they are the ones I use on a daily basis and really feel I cannot do without!
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