Are you confused about what are the best tools for the new writer entrepreneur?
Probably the most difficult aspect of launching and growing my business has been trying to determine what tools I actually need, what tools are worth the investment, and not going overboard trying to buy and figure all of it out.
Right now, as an example, I have subscriptions to Leadpages, Clickfunnels, ConvertKit, free Mailchimp, Hootsuite Pro, Meet Edgar, Woo Box (apparently!), Constant Contact (just canceled that one!), Sumo something, 17 Hats, Teamwork PM, Asana (free version), DropBox, Libsyn, Amazon S3, Teachable… That doesn’t even begin to cover the number of things I have purchased to help me with blog design, my hosting, SEO help, ad programs, and SO FORTH.
Typing out that list makes me want to scream.
How many of these do I know how to use effectively enough to really get my money’s worth out of them? About half. If that many.
All of them are fantastic tools. All of them offer great services. BUT, if you don’t have the time to learn how to use them correctly, do you need to invest in them right at the beginning?
If you are bootstrapping, HECK NO!
My tips on tools for the new writer entrepreneur:
Save the money from investing in an expensive product and use it to hire a VA to help you get content, products, and a community going. THEN you can upgrade.
Let me give you an example. Mailchimp. It’s free up to 5000 subscribers. It’s easy. It allows you to build numerous lists, send beautiful newsletters that are drag and drop and so easy to set up. There’s a wordpress plugin that can help you grow your list.
Do you have to do a little more work than some of the more automated sites in terms of automated sequences? Yes.
But if your list is nowhere NEAR 5000 people, use what’s free, spend the time to map out, plan, and write your sequence for after someone joins your list, and worry about spending money on a fancy email tool later.
If you’re a newbie entrepreneur, here’s what I suggest you have to start:
- A self-hosted website (NO to wordpress.com – that’s like building a house on rented property, as I heard someone say!)
- A basic email provider – Mailchimp is really a great tool for early on
- A social media post planner like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Meet Edgar – BUT if you don’t have the money to pay for one of these, do THIS: link your Twitter account to your Facebook page. Set it so that when you post on Facebook it auto tweets. Use the Facebook scheduler to plan out your posts for a week or two at a time. Then you’ve just autoscheduled your FB and Twitter in ONE go!
- Some GREAT graphics – use Canva or picmonkey – both have free options but Canva offers a bit more guidance if you’re graphically challenged
- A Virtual Assistant who can help you manage all of the above so that you can focus on your business
- A basic project management / CRM tool such as Teamwork PM, Asana, or Insightly – these all offer free basic programs that are good enough for the new entrepreneur
Do you want more details about this topic? We’re talking about ALL of these tools, how to bootstrap, what you need to get started, and tips from more than 40 successful entrepreneurs in our FREE virtual conference: The Career Beyond Your Blog Virtual Summit, June 13-19th. Head on over and claim your free spot. You won’t be disappointed in the education you’re going to receive!