Looking for solutions to make your business and marketing run more smoothly?
Many of these resources are completely free or have free options.
Links on this page may be Affiliate Links, which means I get a small commission if you decide to purchase something after clicking the link. There is no additional cost to you, but sometimes there is a special discount you can't get anywhere else! I will never recommend a service that I haven't used and enjoyed personally.
BLG Insiders Resource Library
DIY-ing Your Social Media?
I've got a growing library of free content + live support & training to help your social media efforts!
Most of the time I focus specifically on social media topics, things like best practices, practical how-tos for certain networks, content creation, and tools & resources that will help you make the most of your social media presence. I also enjoy productivity, and so you'll also see content about which tools and resources work best for managing your social media, marketing, and business!
Social Media Scheduling
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that will help you: schedule posts to all major networks, monitor for engagement, find potential clients online, and stay active on your networks from a single dashboard.
At the low price of around $10/month, the Pro plan is the perfect solution for entrepreneurs who are struggling to keep up with their own social media. The big benefits of this plan: connect up to 50 profiles, bulk scheduling, get 2 users, and have access to a daily/weekly/monthly calendar for scheduling that has crucial drag-and-drop capability.
If you are looking to a free alternative to Meet Edgar or SmarterQueue, Recurpost is the answer to your prayers!
Upload your evergreen content (text, photos, videos) into different content libraries and then set a posting schedule (i.e. post 1 image from this library every Tuesday and Thursday). Never run out of content, because the whole point of this software is to repeat your posts! With a free account, you can connect 3 profiles and have 100 repeating posts. And if you grow big enough to need to upgrade to a paid plan, it is still more affordable that the other two options!
Later is *the* best scheduling tool for Instagram: it's easy to use, nice to look at, has both a website and an app for convenience, and has a free version that allows you to post up to 30 times a month.
Some of the best features? Your uploaded photos stay in a content library that you can tag so they are easy to search and reuse later. You can create & save pre-made captions which saves tons of time and typos when you use groups of the same hashtags repeatedly. The scheduler has a drag-and-drop function for rescheduling your posts. AND you can see a preview of your profile even without all of the posts being scheduled - important if you're going for a specific aesthetic.
Creative Market is a smorgasbord of resources for DIY-ers. I've used it to purchase stock photos, fonts, icon packs, mockups, presentation templates, and more, saving me hours of my own time and making my website, graphics, and marketing materials look more polished that what I could create on my own. If design is not your forte but you're not ready or able to fork out a ton of $$, then Creative Market is the best way to access professional resources without the professional price tag.
Create a free account and get 6 free resources each week (on Mondays) delivered directly to your inbox!
Online Courses & Membership Sites
I jumped on the Kajabi train the second they released their brand new platform, and haven't looked back since. If you are looking for a powerful (almost) all-in-one platform to deliver training and resources to your audience, Kajabi is it! Additionally, they also offer landing pages, blog functionality, email marketing (needs some work, don't delete your MailChimp account quite yet!), member announcements, payment integration, and a website - yes, that's right. You can have Kajabi be your website AND your training/membership portal. It's templates are beautiful, modern, and mobile friendly, and it also have a top knotch Facebook support group!
The plans range from $100 - $700/month, but if you use the link below you can get an additional 15% off of any plan!
Confession: I have since moved on from MailChimp because I needed more advanced form and tagging capability (hello ActiveCampaign!), but it was very good to me before my business needs got more complex.
MailChimp offers a super easy-to-use interface and email designer (the best I've ever used) and all of its templates are modern and mobile friendly. If you want to do regular email newsletters or notify subscribers of your products or services MailChimp will do the trick!
It also integrates with a ton of other software.
They've now added Automation to their free plan, so you really only need to upgrade if you have over 2,000 subscribers - and it's only about $10/month.
ActiveCampaign is where I moved to, in large part for the tagging and easy form creation - plus, you can have the same subscriber on multiple lists and you'll only pay for 1 subscriber!
AC has responsive customer support plus a Facebook Group where you can ask questions and talk to other users. They don't have as many integrations as Mailchimp, but they do integrate with Zapier, which takes care of most of what you'll need. You can sign up for a 14 day free trial to check things out, and if you sign up, they will migrate your list from your old software to ActiveCampaign for you.
I've been with WebinarJam almost right from the beginning because it was an affordable way to do webinars, which I was really excited about. Yes, there have been ups and downs because the platform relied on Google Hangouts, which wasn't always stable. Luckily, at the end of 2016 they completely updated the platform to move away from Hangouts and I haven't had any issues since!
WebinarJam not only allows you to deliver your webinar, but it also takes care of the landing/registration page, email automation, webinar recording, direct selling, and tracking all of the analytics related to your webinar. They also have a top notch Facebook support group and lots of training videos.
If you work on client projects and have to either a) bill your exact time spent, or; b) track your time to make sure you're not going over budget, then Freshbooks is for you! You can provide quotes, create invoices directly from the billable hours you've tracked, and if your clients sign up for a free account, you can also send them their invoices via Freshbooks (which will then give them polite reminders about outstanding payments). It also has project management functionality, so that you can track and complete the steps of your projects with a team who can collaborate and log their time spent.
Internally, if you'd like to use it as a complete bookkeeping system, you can also import all of your expenses. It's a breeze to use!
Productivity & Business Essentials
Need an online booking calendar that not only books appointments but also collections payments? Book Like a Boss is the solution!
BLAB integrates with Google, Outlook, Office, and iCloud calendars and you can link multiple calendars at the same time to make sure you're not double booked. You can set the times/days you'll accept appointments and specify the buffer time between each booking. Appointment reminders are easily set up for all parties involved. The software works with both Paypal and Stripe and they are constantly adding exciting new features. Oh, and if you want to track conversions, it also integrates with Google Analytics and the Facebook Pixel.
I've tried LOTS of project management software and to-do apps, and Trello is the first one to make me feel warm and fuzzy whenever I log in.
If you are a listmaker, Trello is for you! It's like a virtual tack board where you can put up and rearrange all of those sticky notes - except a HUNDRED times more powerful. In fact, it's real power lies in how customizable it is - if you have a specific productivity system you adhere to, you can probably do it in Trello. If you have a specific way of working, you can probably customize Trello to match it.
If you have a team, you can assign them tasks and communicate right in Trello - goodbye emails!
Like Trello, Evernote is powerful because you can do almost anything with it: to-do lists, project management, document storage, note taking, etc.
I use Evernote for note taking, for collecting articles and documents I need for workshops or presentations, and for 'bookmarking' things I want to read, learn about, or watch later (no more out of control browser bookmarks for me!).
The absolute BEST feature of Evernote is the tagging system - it's a simple, powerful way to categorize things to find later. You can add multiple tags to a note, allowing it the flexibility to be categorized under more than one topic.
If you need a way to share and access your files from anywhere, a way to back your files up in case your computer is lost, stolen, or broken AND you prefer your documents in a Microsoft format (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) then Dropbox is for you!
It has a simple, searchable interface, and sharing files with others is just a few clicks. You can now edit your Microsoft documents directly online (no more download-edit-reupload cycle).
Dropbox also has a feature that allows you to see which documents were deleted in the past 30 days - a total lifesaver if you can't find a file because you accidentally deleted it!
If you are more of a Google fan and you're looking for a complete business system that has hundreds of integrations with other software, then G Suite is for you!
Manage your professional domain email in Gmail, store & share your documents in Google Drive, never miss an appointment with Google Calendar, and create all of your documents with Google Docs.
A little tip that not many people know: any documents in a Google Docs format (Docs, Sheets, Presentations, Forms, etc.) do NOT count toward your Google Drive storage limit! However, if you must stick with Microsoft Office, you can edit those documents directly online by installing a simple plugin.