I’m a bit of a nut with researching the best services of all kinds. And now I’m passing on my homework findings so you can save time.
(I have registered as an affiliate with these organizations because I know them and like them. If you purchase using these links, I may receive a few dollars as a token of thanks for my referral.)
File Sharing and Storage (free): Dropbox
I have found this super easy to use and I get plenty of space with the free option. You can add on more when needed. I share videos, photos, and documents with my team and clients this way.
Client and e-Course Portal for Coaches: Coaches Console
This is what I use and can’t imagine life without it. It’s a secure one-stop for client records, scheduling, payment, agreements, worksheets, tracking progress, downloadable tools, and e-courses too. Includes all the training and templates you need to get started quickly.
Social Media and Blog Content Management & Calendar: CoSchedule
This might be my all-time favorite tool of all. What a huge time-saver, and mind-reader, to help me manage my online presence, on my blog and all social media profiles. You just have to see it to know what I mean. It replaces Hootsuite and similar tools in spades, without a big price tag.
Host Online Courses: Udemy
Check out the range of amazing courses here, all pre-screened by Udemy to keep the quality high. If you’re looking for a place to post your course, this is well worth considering. No charge to add your course but you sometimes split revenue with Udemy. You can also host free courses as a way to grow your audience. Check out this super popular course on how to make money publishing courses on Udemy. A good alternative course host is Teachable.
Email List Management for Small Business: MailChimp
This is what I use. It’s relatively user-friendly and has everything you might need for a smaller business. Use the autoresponder feature to drip content over time, such as for a course. Be sure to choose “responsive” templates so it looks good on mobile and laptop.
An alternative well worth exploring is ConvertKit. I will switch to this when I have time.
Website Firewall/ Security Monitoring and Repair: Sucuri
Yes, your website needs security more than your computer does because your business is at stake. When my website was hacked and blacklisted with Google (which is more common than you think), I was losing site visitors at a busy time for me and risking my business reputation. I quickly realized how valuable it would have been to have something like Sucuri in place. Without Sucuri, I spent half of Sunday trying to figure out what to do when my site was down, and luckily got the great advice to contact Sucuri. They solved it quickly, and now they are in charge of keeping my website safe. Highly recommended. (Use their free site scan to check your site.
Survey Tool: FluidSurveys
Their free version offers more than most free survey tools. Easy to use. Lots of options. Create surveys and forms for web and mobile use. This is what I use for surveys. (SurveyMonkey is the main competitor which is very limited in the free version.)
Virtual Meetings/Teleseminar/Webinar Tool: InstantTeleseminar
Your participants can join the program via phone, Skype, or web, making it more accessible than the usual free conference number. You can also show slides. My favorite part is that the recording of the event is easy to save and share via their website. It’s all built in. It has all the features you need to have a participatory program, or a one-way presentation with chat window for Q&A. Some people even use it for one-on-one meetings because the recording feature is so handy. Free conference call tools can’t compete when you consider the time savings of a tool like this.
Videoconferencing and Video Webinars: Zoom
If you haven’t heard of Zoom yet, you will. It’s a rising star for creating meaningful connections over the internet. You can host a group meeting and trust that the video and audio will work better than most other tools. And it costs less than many others. Win-win. With many plans and add-on options, you can scale up from small meetings to large events. Some people use it to record podcast interviews or video interviews because the VOIP technology is so good. I use it for my virtual mastermind group meetings.
Resumes with Style: Loft Resumes
People doing the hiring don’t have time or energy for another boring resume. (I used to do the hiring at a big company and I would have loved it if someone got more creative with their resume.) You’ve got to stand out to make them stop and read. And you really have to make it stylish if the job involves design. Loft Resumes will redo yours with some flair.
Note: I have never used this service but I like what I see on their website.