If you saw my most recent income report, you may have seen that I officially hit my goal of having a $10,000 month before the end of 2017! Reaching this huge accomplishment has got me thinking a lot about what has helped me get here. Because, seriously, it’s taken a lot of help. And one of those things in particular are these digital marketing tools that I’m going to be talking about today.
I don’t normally write posts like this, because I’m a firm believer that “one size fits all” does not exist. Just because I use something for my business and love it, does not mean that you will have the same experience.
That being said, there are a few digital marketing tools that I really, really love. This short list of tools has truly helped me quite a bit in the backend of running my business.
Some of them are free, some of them are expensive. But they each have played a very significant role in me achieving my $10,000 per month goal.
21 Digital Marketing Tools That Helped Me Reach $10,000
Let’s start with an easy one. Yes, Google Drive. Potentially this could be a “duh” moment for some of you, but seriously…when I was first getting started, I had no idea what I was doing. Dropbox? Google Drive? Do I need both? I was a mess.
I initially started using Dropbox because it was more “popular” and, admittedly, it is prettier and more user-friendly. But I quickly realized that if I kept putting #allthethings in Dropbox, I was quickly going to run out of space.
And THEN I realized that Google Drive gives you a whole heck of a lot more space for a whole heck of a lot less dollas.
Dropbox gives you a grand total of 2GB of space on their free plan. Drive gives you 15GB free.
So, right off the bat, if we’re comparing free to free, Drive obviously wins!
But…if you’re an online business owner like me, you
may will definitely need more space than that (eventually).
Dropbox’s intro plan starts at 1TB for $9.99/month. Which seems like a great deal! …Until you realize that Google Drive offers 100GB for only $1.99/month.
Unless you’re me and keep your entire life in Google Drive, it’ll probably be a looooong time until you a whole terabyte of storage. That’s a LOT of space. But, even if you eventually need to, Drive’s 1TB plan is the exact same price as Dropbox’s.
Okay, long story short — use Google Drive and save yourself some money, girl!
(This explanation will be shorter, I promise.)
At first, or at least to me, Evernote seems like it’s going to basically be Google Docs in disguise. But it’s so much more than that.
Evernote just GETS me. So I ended up using it to corral all of my random business ideas. (Of which there are so, so many.) So any lists, blurbs, or thoughts I have throughout an average day…like blog post ideas, course outlines, and webinar topics? All in Evernote.
I love it so much.
This is another use-it-every-day tool that I absolutely cannot live without. Actually, if I had to choose just one tool on this list to keep, it may be this one.
If you’ve been hanging around here for enough time, you’ve probably heard me talk about this particular digital marketing tool more than once.
Seriously, though, it’s amazing.
Asana is a to-do-list and project management tool all in one. And the best part is that it’s great for solopreneurs, all the way up to small or medium-sized teams. I used it way back when my business was a one-person show, and I’m still using it today, 12 team members later!
Going along with Asana, another digital marketing tool I love and use every day is Slack. It helps me easily and quickly communicate with my team, clients, friends, and other communities.
I also sometimes use Voxer for this purpose! But that is a relatively new addition to my digital marketing tools arsenal, so I’m not ready to extol upon it yet.
Wave is a totally free tool that I used religiously for the first 2 years of my business. I honestly think that every solopreneur should be using it! Unless you’re crazy into finances, I would not recommend using any other accounting tool but Wave if you are just getting started out. I couldn’t have done my income reports without it!
Now that I’m starting to make a bit more each month, I’m transitioning over to QuickBooks and have hiring an accountant for my team. But I still love and recommend Wave to anyone who is doing their own accounting and needs something super easy to use.
Although not a software or an app, Facebook groups in general are one of the most powerful digital marketing tools. So I could not in good conscience leave them off this list. You know that I love talking about how to find clients in Facebook groups, so you probably aren’t surprised about this one!
Create Your Laptop Life
If there is one thing on this list that I would point to and say “this is what made the most difference” — Create Your Laptop Life is that thing. I know that I go on and on about it way too much, but Julie Stoian is my mentor and I could not have gotten to where I am today without her and CYLL. Or actually, I do think I could’ve, but it would’ve been a lot longer and much messier journey.
If you’re looking to become a killer digital marketer and want a supportive community to help guide your way…look no further. Membership is currently closed to the public, but you can get special access to the program with my secret link!
Total Theme with Visual Composer Plugin
This one is a no-brainer for me. If you ask me to build you a site, I will make you buy the Total theme.
A lot of people have a favorite theme, and this just happens to be mine! In my eyes, it’s THE theme. And Visual Composer, which comes free with it, is the best page-builder plugin I’ve ever used. (Spoiler alert: I’ve used A LOT.)
If you are looking for a robust, completely customizable website, you need a theme like Total.
That being said, it can be a little overwhelming if you’re new to websites. For those of you in that boat, I’d recommend sticking with something like the TweakMe theme or something gorgeous and functional from Coded Creative.
Thrive Leads + Thrive Quiz Builder
Thrive is one of the best companies out there for WordPress plugins, and of their offerings, Thrive Leads and Thrive Quiz Builder are my absolute favorites.
So many people have asked me what lead generation software I use on my site, and it’s Thrive Leads! Any pop-ups you see on the site, or email sign-up areas, are all done with Thrive.
Thrive Quiz Builder is a separate plugin, but it’s just as amazing if not more so. At a one-time cost of $67, it’s the most affordable option I’ve found for creating customizable lead-generating quizzes. And I love how easy it is to segment your leads based on their results. I’ve used this software to create a bunch of quizzes for myself, as well as my clients, and could not recommend it more!
Ah, ClickFunnels. ClickFunnels and I have a little bit of a love affair. While I don’t use it exclusively for all of my lead generation (again, I use Thrive Leads for a lot of it!), ClickFunnels is a huge part of my marketing strategy. In fact, it’s probably the most robust of the digital marketing tools on this list (although unfortunately that means it’s also the most expensive!).
While it is quite a pocket-emptier, ClickFunnels is more than worth it. I bit the bullet about a year ago, and haven’t looked back since. Actually I’m just about to upgrade to their $297/month plan — eek!
ClickFunnels is hard to explain if you aren’t super into digital marketing yourself, but basically it’s a great way to capture leads and convert buyers. Plus it has a whole bunch of features, like sales pages, pop-ups, affiliates, membership functionality, and payment processing all in one.
Basically, it’s LeadPages on steroids and you neeeeeed it.
While ClickFunnels does have a course/membership area, and I will be switching over to that eventually, Teachable has been my go-to LMS provider for a long time now. (I use it for my Vault membership and my Four-Figure Facebook Formula course.) I started out with their free plan and eventually upgraded to their $39/month plan, and I am pretty happy with them!
I don’t love that it doesn’t integrate well with ClickFunnels. Also, their sales page builder is super ugly and clunky. But, still, it gets the job done! And I’ve been using it since almost the very beginning of my business. It has a special place in my heart.
I could definitely not make a list of digital marketing tools without including Tailwind on it. Along with BoardBooster, Tailwind allows me to completely automate Pinterest marketing for both myself and all my Pinterest package clients.
Related Post: How to Grow Your Business with Pinterest on Autopilot
While it’s not one of the most exciting digital marketing tools, Acuity is such a huge part of my business that I couldn’t leave it off this list. And, actually, I do kind of think it’s exciting in a super nerdy Type A way, haha.
The main thing I want to say about Acuity is that it beats the heck out of Calendly on so many levels. They provide pretty much the same features, but I just love Acuity so much more. It’s got more features on its free plan, and it’s way more user-friendly. So if you’re on the fence between the two, seriously, it’d make me so happy if you went with Acuity instead.
When I finally made the leap from the free plan to their paid plan, that was when my business automation really started to go into overdrive. I solidified my onboarding process and now the whole getting clients thing happens so seamlessly and easily. And it’s all because of Acuity!
LastPass is basically the love of my life.
Being a virtual assistant would be SO FREAKING HARD if LastPass didn’t exist. Because of LastPass, I’m able to hold hundreds upon hundreds of account logins in my Chrome browser, without me having to remember a single one of them by heart. I will never need to remember a password again. Can you imagine the freedom this gives me??
Even if you’re not a virtual assistant, if you aren’t using LastPass — dude, get on this! It’s completely free and will CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
SmarterQueue (along with Tailwind, and also Grum) is one of the main digital marketing tools I use to schedule out posts on social media. It takes care of my Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And the best part is that it’s so much cheaper than its popular competitor MeetEdgar.
Figuring out how to use SmarterQueue to recycle my content on social media was such a godsend. It saves me and my team hours of time each month, and my social media accounts always have content posting on autopilot. It makes my life so incredibly easy. And I use it for my clients all the time, too!
Related Post: How to Promote Your Blog Post on Social Media
I’ve already waxed poetic about why I switched from my beloved ConvertKit to ActiveCampaign (aka. email marketing master of the universe). But sit tight because I’m going to keep on telling you how awesome it is!
This tool is hella powerful and, in my opinion, absolutely necessary if you want to do professional, super-targeted email marketing. (And, really, who doesn’t?)
I’ve probably bought at least a dozen domain names from NameCheap, so I thought they deserved a good solid mention on this list.
Especially in combination with ClickFunnels, I totally think that domain names can count as digital marketing tools. And I just love how affordable and easy to use NameCheap’s domain names are! For hosting, though, I really love SiteGround.
This is a fairly obscure digital marketing tool that you may not have heard of before. But, personally, I use KWFinder all the time in my business (almost on the daily!).
You may not know this about me, but I find SEO so, so interesting. I’m constantly doing research on keywords and how to best utilize them on my site.
KWFinder costs only $5 per month (they do have a free plan, too!) and it allows me to do virtually unlimited keyword searches. This helps me find the best SEO keywords to use in the blog posts I write for myself and my clients.
Related Post: 3 Website Mistakes That Can Harm Your SEO Ranking
It took me a really long time before I finally decided to bite the bullet and join a real stock photo site (vs. hoarding dozens of free images from random sites). It was mostly the ridiculous cost that was holding me back. But eventually I decided to do what I do best, and did a comparison between a bunch of the popular sites.
In my opinion, by a long shot, DepositPhotos is the cheapest option (about $1 per image) that also has a big collection and wide variety of results.
Unlike tools like Graphic Stock, which is what I used to use, DepositPhotos photography doesn’t look outdated. And they’re constantly adding new photos and new collections all the time. (I’m kind of addicted to browsing them!)
While I do use this a lot for myself, this is mostly on my digital marketing tools list because I use it so much for my clients! My clients are always so relieved to hear that they don’t have to pay extra for stock photos. We simply take care of that piece for them.
Plus I love that one or two times a year, AppSumo will do a deal with them and I can get “bonus” images added to my account for half-price. Right now, I’m on their $29/month plan which gives me 30 (any size) downloads each month. Plus, they have vector files, too! So no need to also join something like IconFinder.
Instead of something like Skype or Google Hangouts, I use Zoom for stuff like discovery calls and mastermind meetings.
Let me just break it down it for you — I like Zoom for four reasons:
- It’s free
- It’s easy to use and user-friendly
- It records the calls for free
- I always have a super clear connection (unlike *cough* Skype *cough*)
You can’t go wrong with Zoom!
Haha, this one was kind of a last-minute addition I decided to add this as a “bonus” to my list of digital marketing tools. While not actually a marketing tool of any sort, I’m constantly getting compliments on and questions about the lipstick I wear!
If you’re a lipstick lover, too, I thought you should know that I get my lipstick in a monthly subscription box from LiveGlam! It’s seriously my favorite thing ever, and I love that it feeds my addiction to lipstick while still being pretty affordable in the long run!