When I was just starting out as a freelance social media manager, I wrote this post which outlined the tools that I was using to manage my business and make life feel a little less hectic.
Over the past two years, some of those resources have definitely stood the test of time. However, as I’ve grown my business, updated my offerings, and brought on a team-- many of my needs have changed-- which means my business tools have too!
I’m sharing an updated look into ten resources that I use to not only manage the social media accounts of my clients, but also keep my entire team and I on the same page.
The best part, many of these amazing resources are totally FREE!
ORGANIZATION / TEAM, CLIENT + PROJECT MANAGEMENT
TRELLO: there’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t use Trello. I have boards for all of my clients, boards for my weekly tasks, boards for special projects, processes, and even a board where we keep all of the national hashtag holidays for easy reference! My favorite Trello Power-Ups help me create repeating tasks every week or every month, and easily assign these tasks to team members (with a deadline) with the click of a single button. I’ve planned + organized product and course launches, and layed out my entire editorial calendar with the help of Trello boards. I don’t know how my brain (or my biz) would survive if I didn’t have this tool!
SLACK: although I can communicate with my team within Trello, it’s hard to keep track of all of the information when it’s shared on various cards. We created a Slack channel so that the entire crew can be up to date on the latest with each client, get assistance on anything urgent, share successes + opportunities, and generally feel like it’s a team effort. It also creates a lot of transparency about what’s happening in all areas of the business, which I really like. Most of my clients also use Slack so I can pop in + out of their channels to stay up to date with their business and it’s much faster + easier than email!
CALENDLY: it can be super time-consuming to coordinate a conversation or meeting with a potential (or current) client via email. With my Calendly schedule, I can send a link which displays only the times I’m available, which makes it simple for that new lead or current client to choose a time that works best for them. The appointment is immediately added to my Calendar with all of their contact info-- and it quickly cuts out all of the unnecessary back + forth.
ZOOM: I have weekly meetings with my team + Zoom makes it easy to schedule and host video conference calls with multiple people. There’s even a Chrome extension which makes things even simpler. With the free version, there is a time limit on calls, but it’s easy to hang up + call back if you run over (although, not a good idea if you’re hosting a webinar!).
XERO: Xero is my online accounting software, which helps me save time + get paid faster. Xero operates in the cloud, requires no installation or upgrade costs – and is accessible anytime, anywhere. I love that I can set up my monthly invoices to repeat and never have to think about it again. Xero also seamlessly integrates with over 500 add-ons including PayPal, Square, Stripe, etc so it’s easy for clients to pay however they want.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
LATER: I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve tried them ALL, and I’ll be the first to tell you that the BEST Instagram scheduling platform is most definitely Later. (And trust me, I came to that conclusion long before I started working for them!) Later is constantly innovating, working to create a better experience for its users. It’s seriously a social media manager’s dream. I can quickly + easily curate content from others via Search + Repost, add my own content by dragging + dropping, (or downloading from Dropbox or Google Drive). In no time I can schedule a week’s worth of posts in advance, save captions + hashtags, and preview what it will look like in my feed. I can even send a preview link when I’m done to a client for approval! Plus, with Linkin.bio, I can redirect all of my client’s posts to different URLs via a single link in the profile. Later has even added a way to schedule Carousel posts in advance-- say what?! This was a nightmare before, and now it’s so simple. I seriously can’t say enough good things about this platform, and I’m excited to be on the front lines to see what new features the Later team comes up with next!
PEOPLEMAP: since my team manages Influencer campaigns for clients, we need an easy way to both search / vet potential partners as well as track campaigns in progress. PeopleMap makes this process super simple! We can easily create lists for each client, source potential collaborators via hashtags, specific keywords and locations, and then organize them based on various criteria. Once we’ve activated our influencers, we simply add them into a campaign. From there we can monitor when they post, analyze just how successful each influencer’s posts are, and get an overview of how each influencer campaign performs overall.
Ready to start working with Influencers for your own business?
Check out my course: Insta-Inspired: Influencer Academy to learn how!
BOARDBOOSTER: I will be the first to admit that I don’t spend very much time on Pinterest these days-- however, my own account has grown exponentially because of this handy tool. Boardbooster allows you to post consistently to Pinterest at scheduled times without having to spend a lot of time on the platform. Check out this post to see why this tool is a total Pinterest game-changer!
ONLINE BUSINESS TOOLS
CONVERTKIT: I’m a big fan of ConvertKit's email marketing software. It’s my go-to tool for sending well-timed, targeted content to the real people in my audience. They’ve also added an update for visual automations to help you build automated email funnels simply + effectively. Seeing the exact content, triggers, and actions in your automations all in one place as you build them means you can spend less time fiddling with confusing tools that get in your way, and more time focusing on what matters: growing your online business.
CREATIVE MARKET: Creative Market helps me out tremendously with mockups, icons, fonts (some I use for myself + some for clients), and have I mentioned that they give away free goods every Monday?! Check out this post where I share some of my favorite templates for social media.
So there you have it.
Ten awesome tools that my team + I rely on to keep my business running!
Have you tried any of the resources above? Which do you use in your own business?