As a multi-passionate business owner I know how much work goes into starting a project and a business.
Here’s some ideas and resources that I highly recommend that will save you time and frustration, and make you money in your business if you put them to good use.
CREATE THE BEST WEBSITE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Google Analytics: What’s better than free? LOVE! But seriously having Google Analytics installed on your WordPress site means you’ll know who is coming to your website, how long they stay, where they came from, and whether they joined your list and bought or not. This is all priceless information! You can schedule time with Amada to help work this out for your site too!
FREE WORDPRESS PLUGINS:
All in one SEO: This one is allows you to add SEO to your website pages easily.
Buddypress: BuddyPress helps you run any kind of social network on your WordPress, with member profiles, activity streams, user groups, messaging, and more.
Time.ly: This one is awesome if you run a meetup group! I use this one to AUTO import our events to our website calendar.
Wanguard: Help keep sploggers at bay!
Cleanup WordPress OR WP Cleanup: Sometimes you have archived files taking up space on your site and you need to clean it up. This one is easy to use and fast!
SimpleSocial Icons: You want people to connect with you right? Check out this plugin as the perfect tool to showcase your online profiles.
Editorial calendar: You want to keep your SEO up to date right? The best practices are getting out valid information in a timely manner, think about NEWS feeds. We want the most up to date info when we google right? So do people when they are looking for help or advice. This plugin allows you to schedule your blog posts.
PAY FOR WORDPRESS PLUGINS:
WPMU DEV: This one is a subscription site that offers various themes AND plugins. The ones I have used and recommend are:
Ultimate Facebook: Allows you to really embed Facebook comments into your wordpress site for live interaction.
EVENTS+: If you are an event planner like me than a tool like this might help you manage your events.
Other pay for WordPress plugins (non WPMU):
EventEspresso: I loved this program for years!! But since my tour business got bigger I need more support than handling everything on my own and I switched to a company to help me handle customer support. But if you want complete control over your tours, events, or programs this system allows you to set up what you need.
The Events Calendar: This one has a free calendar and PAID for pro version. I use it for my community calendar on my Broadway Walking Tours website because I love NON-profits and the work they are doing. Since I donate gift certificates to their events I wanted people to see what kind of events were out there and I also wanted to be able to support my indie theatre friends so it auto imports their shows and events for the tourists to check out.
OggChat: This one allows you to LIVE CHAT connect to your Gmail chat window and whenever you are “online” it will allow your prospects to chat directly with you. How nice is that?
ONLINE BUSINESS RESOURCES FOR EMAIL MARKETING
Mailchimp: This is a great service to get started with for free, when your list is less than 2000 subscribers. It includes list segmentation and designing opt-in forms that are easy to use. Full template functionality can match your website oh and did I mention it’s free?
Constant Contact: I started off using constant contact when I first started sending out newsletters and then switched to mailchimp because they weren’t wordpress friendly. They might be now… check them out and see what you think.
Verticle Response: This is another free one that I recommend to not for profits because they offer discounts and FREE service! Up to 1000 subscribers and 4000 emails can be sent out. We use it for our Thrill The World Global group.
SOFTWARE & TOOLS TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS HUMMING
Asana: Just this past year while soul searching I came across a couple of programs that helped me manage my projects. Asana was one of them. This allowed me to connect with my fellow GANYC team members to work on ongoing business. It even has a free APP for your phone so you can stay up to date.
IQTell: If your a fan of GETTING THINGS DONE & INBOX ZERO then you might enjoy using this multi-purposeful tool. They have a mobile app and online dashboard to check emails, manage projects, and be productive. I still have it on my phone and attempt to use it from time to time but found it kinda overwhelming. If you have more patience than I highly recommend checking it out after all it has a free version available.
EverNote: This is a FREE online and app program that has upgrade features but I use on a daily basis to work on editing or keeping track of WHATEVER on the go.
Dropbox: If you collaborate with others online, Dropbox is a great way to share documents, pictures, ideas. It integrates beautifully with Asana and Evernote, and connects to all your devices, too!
17hats: This is my newest program that I absolutely adore! It works similar to Infusionsoft or other programs that help generate leads and workflows but is way cheaper and easier to understand and use. It just came out in 2014 but they already are making radical updates and changes. They offer monthly and yearly fees that are extremely reasonable. It handles contacts, projects, calendars, workflow, budgets, everything an entrepreneur needs to get their business flowing in the right direction. It integrates with PayPal and Stripe to accept payments from invoices that are reflective of your business.
Motiv: Is similar to 17hats in managing workflow. They offer a month long trial period and give amazing templates and proposal ideas. They also whitelabel your brand so that there is no question on where an invoice might come from.
Last but not least….
GOOGLE DRIVE/DOCS: This FREE resource is amazing to use when collaborating on projects and ideas. You can even be signed in at the same time to use it and see edits happen in real time. All you need is a gmail email address and you can sign into and start using it. People who don’t have gmail can also VIEW the documents. I <3 Google Drive and highly recommend it.
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