My Favorite Business Tools for Social Media Coordinating
If you're a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, learning how to organize and how market yourself digitally can be a big undertaking. Especially if you're going at it alone. I’m talking about areas like finances, e-mails, social media planning, branding, and everything. Methods of organizing and supporting sales will evolve but for the past year, these programs have been the backbone of my behind the scenes.
Because we live in 2019, let me tell ya quick : No, this is not sponsored content. However, some of these suggestions may share referral codes if you feel inclined to inquire further.
I am so excited to finally open up about my behind the scenes and the programs that have allowed me to, well, be in business!
Adobe Illustrator was my starting point for design programs back in Apparel Merchandising and Design classes. We’d design tech-packs and I dabbled in personal projects like resumes and some marketing stuff for The Fashion Show. It was not the easiest to create a quick graphic over text if you’re just getting started. I've always had an interest for design so it was a natural progression for me to pick up with designing on Canva versus Illustrator in this season.
Enter : Canva! A wonderful desktop design program that allows you to create, download, or print custom graphics with ease. You have options to select pre-made dimensions in any size that your digital marketing heart could desire. If you want to use the paid plan, you can upload custom fonts and load custom brand palettes. Let’s just say I got real into HEX codes for a season finding color ways.
Like I said earlier, you can use pre-made designs for a starting point so making e-mail headers, Facebook banners, Instagram stories, postcards, and flyers has never been easier.
About printing through Canva : I tried out this service for a client postcard and it was a great service without any wrinkles
Have you heard of a CRM before? No? It stands for client relationship management system. A neat acronym you learn in marketing classes at Universities. Now you can hang with the big dogs ;) It helps you organize communication, documents, and different touch-points with clients and potential clients.
Dubsado is an excellent place to create and house contracts, invoices, client portals, forms, and other really handy CRM tools. Some ways you can use it : Create proposals, schedule appointments, and streamline your communication all in one place. I've loved it because it has a ton of customization. They have a legit customer service to work with if you have any questions or get stuck. Which you should expect happening because there’s a lot of customization involved. You can use the free trial for up to 3 clients.
PayPal is an easy, simple way to accept payments. You can connect it to your Dubsado and Acuity. I like when my programs play well together. There may be similar products like Stripe or Square that would be best if your point of sales occur with virtual product or in retail. Alas, for my social media coordinating needs, PayPal did the trick.
The best social media content planning system out there, in my opinion. Use it to organize photos in drafts, schedule content, arrange images, write captions, insert hashtags, store hashtags, and analyze your growth. It’s the Mecca of social media coordinating. I use it exclusively in my business. I would suggest trying out a free plan first. However, as you gather content and start getting a groove with planning out your social media content, move to a paid plan! They’re affordable starting at about $9 / month.
If you’re managing multiple social media client accounts, you can move up to a plan that can accommodate you! Reach out to Planoly about this too, I’ve heard they’re very helpful with this.
I can give you many more reasons why I love it but for now I'll leave you with this video I made just for you!
Exciting news : Planoly JUST released an app called “StoriesEdit” this week which allows you to customize stunning instagram story graphics, as well. GET ON THAT, YO! It’s beautiful + effortless!
*referral code here
Google Drive has been and always will be my home base for files, used it in tandem with all my programs. Drive stores all my files, past client shared documents, photo folders, and so much more. I color code and organize the heck out of all my Google Drive files like a crazy person. I also use Google Forms for post-service surveys and a place to get feedback from others when necessary.
Loom allows you to create efficient screen recording for tutorials, screen shares, and more. When you're trying to explain a process in lots of steps and words (for example, how to use Planoly) it can be way faster to send an attachment or link of your Loom video than type all the words on e-mail. Password protect or keep it open to public, you’ve got options with sharing. I've also found it incredibly useful when I'm on the receiving side of a Loom file and want to do this for others as well. We’ve all got lots of life going on so to make your explanation quick and to the point : Loom it up! Inbox zero, anyone?!
I won't go far in depth on this topic as I’m not a web designer by trade. However, I will tell you that I built my website entirely by myself using Squarespace and felt the learning curve was not steep. Granted, I didn't code much of anything (beyond copying and pasting some code) and uploading fonts and some special elements. All in all, it's been the easiest to customize for my level of needs. I like the integrations with Mailchimp and Google drive, too. I've purchased my domain and custom e-mail through my website via Squarespace as well. Two thumbs up.
I feel so...fuzzy inside... when I think about Acuity. It's changed some areas in business for the better : I've connected PayPal to their platform and it's given me the most simple and straightforward platform to sell smaller services and products from. It connects to my Google Calendars allows customers to choose when they'd like to schedule a service or purchase something from me. Take the back and forth out of determining times and dates on e-mail and work towards getting something scheduled with payment quickly, amiright?!
*referral link here
Each of these have helped in their own respect bringing my business clarity, ease, and organization to my work and life. I hope you found something useful! If you have any other ideas or tips that have helped you run your social media coordinating business - I’d love to hear of what has worked for you!