Starting a business is a feat in and of itself, so if you are reading this I am guessing you are either just starting or you have been around the block for a bit. So let me start off by congratulating you. You are one of the most amazing people yet, you have done what others dream of doing, but don’t actually have the ‘guts’ to do. So clapalanche to you my friend. You are amazing.

When I started my business back in 2015 I was a scattered hot mess of chaos, didn’t know which way was up or how on earth to get anything done in any sort of ease. I was kind of just floundering and somehow making things work. Not really sure how I did it for those first few years looking back.

Somewhere along that first few months I got smart and decided to look at softwares and systems that could help simplify or make things easier, cause heavens know I need things to be smoother. Don’t you? By taking the time to really convert, sit down and get these things figured out I was able to make my business run so much smoother. Thank heavens.

These five softwares are ones that I still use, yes even today in year 5 of my business, and ones that I will continue to use because they work! Are you ready?

Mailerlite

This is an email marketing tool that has some of the most beautiful templates I have seen around the town. I am a visually impacted person – I blame my BFA degree – so when it came to creating beautiful things well this one had my vote. It creates wonderful forms, automations and emails. This is an awesome way to build your email list and increase your potential customer base. Like they say, the money is in the list! So start now, even when you are just starting to build that list of yours! I loved Mailerlite and the best part is… you can get started for FREE.

If Mailerlite isn’t your jam – here are some other ones that I have used and love.

ConvertKit, it was created by bloggers and works awesome for those of you that are looking for something clean and impactful. It is a relatively inexpensive platform and their templates can be customized. I used this for a while before I swapped to Flodesk. It runs about $49/mo depending on your list size.

Flodesk. It is a very pretty and visually stimulating platform. I have built several integrations in it for clients with my agency She Knows Social and really love the look at it. It starts at $38/mo.

Notion

This has been one of the most amazing things ever. It is a catch all for all things, content calendar, idea bank, crm, and so much more. Prior to using notion I had been on the hunt for a program that would help me keep all my ‘things’ in one place and that would sync across multiple devices. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am not right in front of my computer and I need something when I am on my phone. I couldn’t find something that I loved enough no matter what I tried. I had tried OneNote, Evernote, Google Keep… and none of them had what I wanted.

Then I found Notion.

This software has been amazing. I keep all my passwords in a protected sheet there. I keep ideas and blogpost ideas in there. I keep my business ideas in there. I keep a CRM in there of people I have contacted, who I need to follow up with and who I have closed or those who haven’t in there. I also have my content calendar in there too!

Best part… it is free! Head over here and grab yours!

Lightroom

So like I mentioned up in #1, I am a sucker for pretty things. So when it came to making my photos pretty, well I just had to have something that did it really easy for me. Lightroom was a quick editing fix that really did it for me. I could do it on my phone or on the computer. It was a cinch. The other thing was I could create presets for my business that made things unique.

Now this one isn’t free, but it won’t break the bank either. It runs me about $10 a month to keep around and is super easy to use. So if you are all about pretty photos, then this one might be worth the investment for you.

I like to sit down and edit all my photos in one go using lightroom, and then if I need one on the go well then to the app I go! Like I said I created custom presets which are on my phone too, so I can keep my look super consistent.

Canva

Graphics now a days are something you for sure need to do to help your business. Whether it is just a little one for Instagram, a pdf freebie for your site, you want to add text to your photos or want an animated graphic.

I personally flip flop between using Canva and Illustrator, but when I am on the go or want something really simple Canva is my go to. It is really easy to use, literally drag and drop into the graphics, and it is free to use! There are some elements that are on their Pro list which will cost you to use, but there are a lot that you don’t have to pay to use. So don’t let that stop you!

This makes creating graphics easy, even for those that are graphically impaired. Don’t worry if that is you friend! We all have our weaknesses.

Head here to give it a try.

Ok last up for me is…

Airtable

This is an awesome online software that has ‘bases’ to keep information all together for you. You can have CRM (Customer Relation Management) in there, marketing plans, organization charts, intake forms and content calendars. I personally use it for all my forms. It is free to build them and you can have as many questions as you need in there!

The beautiful thing is you can customize the questions and then when they are answered, they head right into a spreadsheet. What?! Makes the information so so easy to keep straight. Now they do have a paid version of this that allows for way more personalization, but I personally just use the free one because it works for me! Try it here!

Alright there you have it friend, 5 softwares that I use to make my business run like butter. Which software are you going to try?

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