Its not a problem these days to utilize tools & applications to get more productivity, stay on track or have meticulous tasks done without spending your own bandwidth – that’s just smart business anyways – lets face it…
In fact, I believe it’s harder nowadays with all the options and new innovative technology to truly filter through the garbage and find the software or tools that push you ahead of your competition. In an era where claiming a domain and investing in an online presence is so easy the actual product or functionality sometimes can lack true quality or have higher expectations than delivery. Often, I am approached by entrepreneurs or sales reps offering a new technology solution to streamline or pitching to me. It’s key to understand that disruptive ideas are what propels the next game changer, so I always try to test new software and ideas pitched to me prior to saying no. The downfall is and can be a lot of valuable time spent which could otherwise be harnessed to bring higher results. So I decided to make a list and shout-out to some of the tools, software and growth hacking businesses out there that DO make a difference. These are all used on a daily to weekly basis in my current campaigns and I am not affiliated in any way whatsoever, just tools I am glad to share.
Digital Marketing MUSTS in My Toolbox
SEO Profiler – Disclaimer– I run many SEO campaigns, but still this is very valuable for any business involved in or interested in online marketing. So I’ve run through so many SEO software that I can’t keep count, and there are many great tools but this is my number 1 for an on-going campaign. I don’t know how the customer service is for one great reason – I don’t need to. There is never any functionality issues, I can always count on SEO Profiler to deliver. Not to mention some of the software ranges from thousands of dollars a month and I still wouldn’t match it to profiler. The software is relevant for all of the algorithm changes of late and keeping detailed information from outreach to an audit feature. If you are in search and want a software that will give smart insights, save you time and offer consistent reliability get with it – that simple.
Codeable – Tomaž Zaman & Per Esbensen created this idea to have a trusted source for all your WordPress needs. With the WordPress community growing so large prior to codeable it was very difficult to find a good platform or developer for that matter when I was too busy to customize themes. A friend of mine suggested I use this and once I logged into my first project I got the extra help I needed and was extremely satisfied. If you need high level tasks such as custom plugins or lower end items that take some of your bandwidth Codeable has you covered. If you are involved in Search, Web Dev. or other digital marketing aspects I suggest you at minimum check out the platform because with WP so predominant in business and online these days you never know when you could use a wordpress expert for an hour, day or full project and this is the source. Service is excellent and once you sign up you can opt in for the blog updates and WP news – probably one of my top sources to stay on top of the community.
Textbroker – Content is always necessary. And Good, Top Notch, Unique Content. Textbroker is great because you can always count that you are getting authentic articles that are specialized. Once you start your account you will begin to index the expert authors for each niche or client that work best. I pay extra to get five star quality because it is worth it. I always encourage and ask clients to use internal content writers as they will always be the best source but textbroker is a great supplement. Use to supplement landing pages with quality, well researched content or for FAQ sections to inform potential visits about the niche and common questions. Basically, if you are looking for an extension of your content or to assist your writers create an account, test out some writers and assign someone to manage the process. You will be amazed at the value you gain once you get the ball rolling, at least I feel that way.
Dollar Photo Club – My buddy introduced me to this amazing source after dealing with (I don’t want to mention) disappointing low quality royalty free image providers. Sure, you can go to some of the top tier providers that have superior quality also. But you will pay for it. I am all for paying for quality but this site hits that sweet spot. You will find high quality photos and can integrate into all of your blog posts to increase engagement and user experience. Sign up for an account, get approved and be off and running!
SEM Rush – Rush I had to list due to the fact that it unique. You can get so much data for sites prior to starting and competitor research that is un-matched. This software will help you retain and grow your campaigns definitely. The Audit feature is newer but also pretty trick for items such as duplicate content and Low Text to HTML areas you should use textbroker or your content writers to supplement to increase the SEO efforts. Among SEOs this is an obvious choice but I find this is really beneficial also for Business Dev. or sales when attracting new clients in the proposal or intro stages. It can help you present issues and solutions based on the insightful data you can extract. Hop in and pay for one month if you are skeptical, I am sure you won’t regret it.
Managing The Scope & Yourself
Toggl – If you work solo, for a company or in a range of different industries and want a better pulse on your time starting using this service. Time is the most valuable commodity and if you truly can attribute your time to what clients, activities and phases of work you are doing you will be successful. By using Toggl I have the confidence that my proposals benefit myself from a time/compensation perspective as well as my clients. If they dissect my contract I am able to attribute very close estimates to each portion. After working for various agencies I can tell you first hand this is not a standard practice and will give you an edge. The best part about Toggl is you can use the free version and get very insightful data that will grow your business and keep track of the TRUE costs involved. Sign up for an account, add your clients, projects, etc. and export this directly when you need in your archives – once you start using you will be happy you did.
Basecamp – This is how I stay sane with deadlines, on-going tasks, updates, you name it. Honestly, I’ve even used the platform to plan non-business tasks like trips and it works great. Basecamp is just one of a myriad of Project Management software and options out there so it’s after trial and error I stick with what works. Sometimes working with developers they prefer other pm options but I find that the end clients always love Basecamp. You can turn of email updates if they get too frequent and also download the app straight to your mobile device. This is perfect for those times you step out for lunch or workout and need to keep the communication up with clients. Such an affordable, valuable piece of my day-to-day Basecamp is.
iMile IQ – So for me – taxes were one of the most difficult parts of launching freelance. There is a lot to keep track of and you need to know which write-offs to leverage and how to stay right with the IRS at the same time of course. I have an accountant who is a machine and obviously recommend this to any entrepreneur or business that takes itself seriously but still you have to make their job easier. I am not one to show up and pile my work off so this app is killing it for me. Set the account up and it will begin tracking your miles, it’s as easy as a hand swipe left or right to assign which category (personal or business) and you are ready to rock. You can break down your miles by month, week and export or have them sent to you in a report. Basically, for it is one less mundane but time consuming task you don’t have to worry yourself on.
Well there you have it, these are my main go-to’s for now. I have a wide variety of other items but the list is so long I wanted to filter & give the most beneficial tools first. What are you musts to stay successful, get the job done efficiently without compromising quality?