You know when the beauty mags have a celebrity dump out her purse so you can see all the make-up she uses – like really uses – in real life? I love those.
This is the same kind of thing, but instead of make-up, these are the marketing tools I use – like really use in my agency and for my own business – and would carry around with me everywhere. Here goes:
Websites: WordPress and if you can't do WordPress then Squarespace
I am biased to sites that match your brand personality exactly, which is why I love WordPress because it's 100% customizable (I mean, I'm a designer after all!). If the idea of building a custom site on WordPress makes your head pop off, I recommend Squarespace. It's a little tricky to use, but it has the most lovely minimal templates and just enough customization to make my list.
WordPress Theme: Thrive Themes
As a branding pro, I love the control I have over every font and color on the site. Plus, it includes course modules, membership portals, quiz builders, lead forms, and more for less than $300 a year – eliminating the need for additional templated platforms like Kajabi or ConvertKit (seriously, use the money you save to fund your Facebook ads!). I love Thrive Themes so much I could write a haiku about them.
Website Hosting: SiteGround
Love the easy-to-use interface and amazing amazing amazing customer support...that's included in your hosting package, so no surprises charges for support.
Email Service Provider: Active Campaign
Great deliverability and an intuitive drag and drop email builder that's really easy to pick up.
Video streaming tool: Restream.io
Love the ability to stream to multiple platforms (Facebook, YouTube, and even Instagram) from a single platform. You can also sync it with Zoom for the much-loved "touch up my appearance" feature.
Self-serve graphics: Canva
Not sure why I want to hate Canva...maybe the same way you sort of hated that girl from high school who was always so well-dressed, pretty, helpful, and smart. But I've long gotten over that and use Canva for my own social graphics and for all of my clients and in my courses. It's so easy to use and ensures consistency in your brand identity. Plus, there are free and paid versions (and the free one is pretty clutch) and literally thousands of templates.
Stock photo sites: Stocksy, Adobe Stock, iStock Signature, Pexels, Unsplash
Inexpensive and authentic photos? Yes please! While Stocksy and Adobe Stock cost $15 - $80 per image, Pexels and Unsplash are both free (although Pexels is a little fresher than Unsplash, which is used by a ton of entrepreneurs...good to ensure that you're the only one using a particular photo).
Splurge stock photos: 500PX
If you have the budget, this is the stock site for you. Pricey – like $500 and up – but beautiful.
That should be enough to get you started!
Want to know more marketing tools that I use in my toolkit? Comment below and let me know – I am always happy to share!