Anyone who has ever been any kind of business owner at some point will tell you there is never a shortage of opportunities to work hard at what you do. There is a ton of value in working hard to create excellence in everything you do.
That being said, I am also a big believer in the idea of learning how to leverage our time and resources to begin working smarter instead of harder. In this day and age, technology is king, am I right?! The beauty of this is that there are countless tech tools out there at our disposal that can make all the ins and outs of running our businesses so much easier.
To make things simple for you, I've put together this little roundup of nine of my favorite tech tools for running my business, how I use them, what I love about them and where you can check them out!
Some of them you may be familiar with, but I'm hoping you'll learn about a new tool or two that might just make all the difference in helping you streamline running your business.
1. Word Swag
This free graphic design app is only available on your phone and is perfect for whipping up quick, easy graphics with overlaid text on the go. I've found it to be super handy for creating imagery for social media posts (which helps me organically grow my reach - ie: the number of potential clients I'm trying to get in front of!)
This program is amazing for creating DIY graphics for just about anything you can think of, from blog post images, to social media images, to printable worksheets, to email headers - you name it! I personally use Adobe Illustrator for most things, but a lot of people I know strictly do all their design work in Canva. I really like to use it for creating great collages. The best part? It's totally free! They have a paid option called "Canva for Work" that lets you do things like upload your own branding, create reusable templates, etc. But the free option will take you far. So far this software is only available on computers and there is no app for it.
This program does have a bit of a learning curve, and will probably take some time to get really comfortable with, but once you do it is truly an invaluable resource with a very affordable monthly price tag. You can subscribe to just Illustrator, or subscribe to the Adobe suite and have access to other great software programs like Adobe Acrobat, Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.
This photo-editing app is my favorite for adding some extra brightness and exposure to my photos on the go! Beautiful imagery is super important in this industry, and using Afterlight helps ensure my images are always top-notch.
A word of fair warning when diving into the amazingness that is Creative Market - beware!! You'll get sucked in quicker than a cold drink on a hot day! But, this resource is seriously AMAZING for finding all kinds of useful creative elements to use in your branding, projects, etc. There is a huge variety of goodies to look through, there are often incredibly-priced bundles available and every Monday Creative Market sends subscribers 6 free downloads, ranging from pretty fonts, to styled stock photos, to full website themes - all for free each week!
This tech tool is a total lifesaver. It helps keep me and anyone I'm working with organized and sane! Think of it as basically an online file folder. You can upload documents, photos, videos, straight into Dropbox, and then access them anywhere at anytime. You can also share links to files stored in your Dropbox with other people if you need to.
This is the platform that I host all three (yes three!) of my websites on and I just love it. Squarespace makes it super easy to DIY your own website or, if you hire a professional designer, it's very easy to maintain and update when needed.
Automating what you can in your business takes a HUGE weight off your shoulders as a business owner. I am a big fan of automation. One tool that has helped me tremendously in my business is Hootsuite. I use this tech tool to map out my social media posts and be intentional about how I'm marketing my content. There are both free and paid versions.
9. Mail Chimp
This tool is for managing an email list, which is a crucial part of running any business. Your email list is like gold, so you should be using something to nurture that list, and I really like Mail Chimp! They have drag and drop templates for creating newsletters and other kind of email correspondence, and it's free for up to 2,000 subscribers! There is also a $10 monthly upgrade if you want the automation feature, which enables you to automatically send certain subscribers things based on actions they take (for example, a welcome email gets sent when someone signs up, or an email sequence of mini-lessons gets sent after someone signs up for your free email course. The possibilities are endless and it's very user-friendly, integrates well with other tech tools and platforms and there's lots of great tutorials for learning how to use it!
That's all I have for you right now, but I'm sure I'll think of more super valuable tools for helping you run your business with more ease.
What are some of YOUR favorite tech tools that make running your life or business easier?