The programs and software that I use
I like my life to be integrated and cost effective (in theory). Therefore because my consultancy is business-to-business, and my clients tend to be well and truly on the Microsoft bandwagon I use the MS365 small business subscription. This gives me most of the business tools I need – including TEAMs for virtual collaboration and meetings.
Now, everyone and their dog has reviewed Clickfunnels, and handed out their affiliate link, so I won’t bother. Currently, my consultancy Confident Costing is hosted there, but I’m hoping to migrate it away in Q2 2021.
I’m not going to lie, most of my consultancy business comes via LinkedIn. Which makes sense, right? But, even with Premium or Sales Navigator (the business version of premium) subscriptions learning to navigate LinkedIn as an effective traffic source is HARD work. So I’ve done a number of free challenges, followed some “gurus” and took a bit of a suck it and see approach.
While I was doing this, I stumbled across Casey Graham – you may have heard of him, he’s pretty big on LinkedIn. He recently launched a program teaching what he’s learned after embedding LinkedIn personal branding as part of his company’s way of working. (At Gravy they’re actually helping people realise their exit strategy from the company from the point that they join – how cool is that!).
I was so impressed that I joined Casey’s program CommandAF as one of the founding members – and the final recording session happened this week (as I write this on the 27th of March 2021). Are you intrigued yet? Sample the Command Your Brand free training and see what you think (this is an affiliate link – to free training)!
More than an email autoresponder! Arkflux is an integrated business automation tool (and by integrated I mean natively it contains pretty well all of the functionality I need), which does email stuff, forms and surveys, CRM, web and SMS chat, social media integration and more stuff that I can’t remember or don’t use! Check them it, it’s a great tool and they’ve been fantastic to work with. (This is not an affiliate link by the way – they’re just too good for people not to know about!).
Canva is an online graphics editor. There are free and paid options – currently I’m using the free version because it is completely adequate for my needs. With a huge number of templates, you can easily create Pinterest Pins, Instagram Posts, feature images, YouTube Title pages, the list goes on – if you have a media graphic design requirement check out Canva first!
Do you have some images that you need to optimise to assist your page load speed? I’m loving this free online compressor and optimiser for JPEG, PNG, GIF and SVG files. The only downside is that you do have to upload and download your files one-by-one.
While Compressor.io is great for one or two files, compressing everything got a big tedious – so installed the free version of the Smush plug in. It lets you bulk compress media (there is a limit to how big each run is – but if you can spare the time the free version has treated me well).
Do you want to make PDFs that can be populated online? Then this is the free tool for you! PDFescape is a free online PDF editor and form filler that you can use with any PDF to make a form that can be filled out electronically.
I use the hosting which is included with my Wealthy Affiliate account. I’ve found it excellent with the added bonus that the site support is available 24/7 and respond almost instantly! You can see why I decided to go with Wealthy Affiliate in this blog post (the links within the post are affiliate links).
I use the free version of Screencast-O-Matic to record my Youtube videos. You can record up to 15 minutes of content with focus on you, your screen or a split between the two (and moving back and forth) on the free version.
You probably know by now that I have a Mac – so I’ve started using the native Quicktime Player functionality to record both the screen, and myself via webcam, and even both together when it comes to it!
Grammarly is a spelling and grammar checker which is invaluable to validating your content for correctness. I use the free version as a plugin for the safari browser (as I create most of my content directly in the WordPress editor using Gutenberg Blocks), but it is available for other platforms, and paid options with additional features.
CoSchedule’s free headline analyser gives you insights into how to improve your headlines to increase clicks and conversions. You need to join with a free account, but after that, you can try out different headlines against their algorithm and it gives you a headline score and improvement tips.
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