Top 10 Business Tools Video

I recently wrote about how I run my company by using an iPad Pro and some of the tools that I use there. In this video, I break down the 10 tools that I use every single day in order to manage my business. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and transcription below the video:

 

Top 10 Business Tools

Hey, what’s going on everybody? Chris Stocker here. Today, I’m talking about the 10 tools that I use on a daily basis to help manage my business. If you own a business, whether you’re a freelancer or you own a business with multiple employees like a digital-marketing agency, you probably use a lot of tools. There are so many tools out there for everything you could possibly need. There’s thousands of tools for everything whether it’s a task management, project management, accounting, cloud storage, whatever it is there’s a lot of tools. I’ve used a lot of them. I’ve tried a lot of them. I just want to share what I use every single day. These are my top 10 tools that I use. They work for me. They work for my business. These are in no particular order of importance or how often I use them or anything like that.

Asana

The first one is Asana. I’ve used a lot of different project management apps, Asana is by far my favorite. I love that I can schedule a task for other people. I can see where they are at in the process of that and we can keep our communication all together within Asana. I know a lot of these other tools do it as well but Asana is just the one that I prefer. I really do like Asana. I use that every single day to track what I need to do, what my employees are working on, or what my other contractors are working on, and it just keeps everything in one place.

Google Drive

Number two is Google Drive. I use Google Drive for everything, not just for storing documents but also using Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. It’s just so much easier for me. I’m traveling a lot, so I can do things whether it’s on my iMac, or on the iPad Pro, whatever it is, the phone, I can do it within the Google Drive platform.

Hootsuite

Number three is Hootsuite. I use Hootsuite for my social media management. I like it because it does have a pretty decent team collaboration effort that you can use within that. I have team members that can upload social media statuses and then I can approve them before they go live or a client can approve them before they go live. I do use the paid version, obviously, just because there’s so many accounts that we are managing but that’s what I personally like at this time.

AWeber

Number four is for email list. Now, I just switched over to AWeber. I haven’t been using it for a very long time. It’s only been less than 30 days but so far, I absolutely love it. That’s what I use for sending out email blasts, email newsletters.

Freshbooks

Number five is Freshbooks and that is my accounting software. I absolutely love Freshbooks. It’s just so clean. It makes you feel like you’re not doing accounting work. It’s so simple to invoice, to track hours, everything. I absolutely love Freshbooks.

LeadPages

Number six is Leadpages. Again, this is something else that I just recently started using. So far, I absolutely love it. It’s so easy with their drag and drop model. It’s just so easy to create compelling landing pages that actually convert and that’s all that matters. It is paid but it pays for itself, trust me. I mean it is absolutely amazing.

iMovie

Number seven is iMovie. Currently, I’m using iMovie to edit these videos. I don’t need anything else at this time. I know that there are a lot more powerful software in order to do movie editing but right now iMovie works for me and does what I needed to do so at this point that’s what I’m using.

Feedly

Number eight is Feedly. I use Feedly for all my news to stay up-to-date. In this industry, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, especially in the SEO world, there’s always something new coming out from Google about their algorithm or this or that and there’s so many Instagram updates you know like stories, live, and now folders. Once again, a lot of other RSS feeders, readers, whatever you call them, this is just one that I choose. It’s simple, I like it. It allows me to save things, to save for later reading. I definitely recommend Feedly.

Moz

Number nine is Moz. As somebody that does a lot of SEO work for clients, I prefer Moz. Moz is my go-to SEO tool. I love their reporting. I love everything about Moz. I think they are the industry leader and I love their products and what they put out.

Native Apps

Finally, number ten. Number ten is just the social media sites themselves so Facebook Instagram, Snap, Twitter. Even though I use Hootsuite for a lot of management, I also like to get into the native apps as well, especially with Snap obviously, I can’t do anything with that through Hootsuite so I live in Snapchat, go follow me right over here. Take a screenshot of this snap code right here. Go follow me there. You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, obviously YouTube.

So there are my ten tools that I use every single day in order to help run my business. A lot of these tools I used when I was just a solo freelancer that was just doing work myself. I use Freshbooks for billing hours, invoicing. I use Asana to just track my own tasks. I always use Moz. So, a lot of these tools can be used for freelancing or large businesses.

Down in the comments let me know what tools you’re using. I’m always open to new tools you know. It’s just how you use the tools is what’s really important so I’m curious to know what you’re using so go ahead comment below, down here. Please like, share this video. If you want to see more, let me know what your questions are. I’d love to answer your actual questions. That’s it. So, subscribe, have a good day. See you!

How I Run a Digital Marketing Agency from an iPad Pro

running a digital marketing agency with iPad Pro

I have owned several different iPads throughout the years, but when my Macbook Pro was starting to run a bit slower and was becoming a problem in running my business, I had to decide if the latest iPad Pro was going to be something that I could use to manage my business.

I do use a 27″ iMac at my desk, but since I work outside of the office so often, I need something that is reliable and powerful enough to handle everything that I need to do without skipping a beat from the iMac. Well, the iPad Pro has been that solution.

I’ve been using an iPad Pro to run my digital marketing agency for a few months now, and I couldn’t be happier.

Here are a few of the apps that I use to help manage my business:

Asana

There are a lot of different apps out there for project management and team collaboration, but this has been the one that works best for me and my team. I’ve used Trello in the past, but have found that Asana has cut down on a lot of email communication and can easily track conversations a lot easier. I can do everything on this app that I can from a desktop.

Google Drive

This is a no-brainer. Our team utilizes Google Docs / Sheets (etc.) for pretty much everything. This app can easily be used on an iPad Pro just as easily as it can be on a desktop.

Hootsuite

What would a digital marketing agency be without a social media service to schedule posts? Like project management apps, there are a lot out there and it’s important to use what works for you and your team. For us, that is Hootsuite when it comes to social media management.

Mailchimp

Clients need newsletters created, reviewed, scheduled, and analyzed? No problem, I use the Mailchimp app directly on the iPad Pro to accomplish all of this.

Canva

I have been using Canva since it basically was released. Canva has saved our team hours upon hours of time by not having to create custom graphics from scratch. The Canva app for the iPad Pro is amazing. Especially with the Apple Pencil. I am able to create custom graphics with ease within the Canva app, just like I could from my iMac.

iMovie

There were two main things that I never could do on my previous iPads. One was web development (which I can easily do on the iPad Pro now) and movie editing. Well, with the iPad Pro and the iMovie app, I can edit just as well as I can on the iMac.

Freshbooks

We have to invoice and bill for all of this work we’re doing right? The Freshbooks app is just as easy as the desktop version and can be done on the iPad Pro with zero issues.

Stop Talking About Starting a Business and Go Do It

traffic-light-figure-1-1174212-639x651Since starting my business almost 7 years ago, a day hasn’t gone by that I didn’t learn a valuable lesson. During this time, I have also received a lot of questions about starting a business, managing a business, and psychological side of owning a business. So I figured, why not share some of those questions and answers here.

One of the most frequently asked questions is simply, how do I start my own business?

This is a loaded question obviously, and it definitely has a loaded answer.

The very first answer is, you have to want it. You can’t question whether or not you want to own your own a business, because as soon as you start to question it, you’re going to fail.

Why do I say that?

You never know when you are actually ready to do something until you actually do it. You can plan and plan and plan for days, months, years and then first day of operations something happen that you didn’t plan for and all of your planning meant nothing.

You have to be willing to just take the risk of losing everything and just do. You want to start a web design company, just start designing websites. You want to start a fishing supply dropship site, just do it.

The longer you think about whether or not you should do it, and start asking yourself all of the what-if’s the longer it is that you’re going to NOT act on your plan. This is what a want-trepreneur does. Talks about their amazing business, but doesn’t actually do it. “Man, if I had a fishing business I’d be so happy and have so much money, blah blah blah.”

GO

Then why don’t you just go do it?

Are you waiting for your second life and second  trip on this earth?

Stop talking about starting a business and go do it.

Now.

The All New Chris Stocker Inc

For the last 7 years, I have been writing about WordPress, SEO, Social Media, Affiliate Management and Analytics. The focus of my career has changed a bit over the years, so the focus of this blog will be changing as well.

I will be focusing less on the “How-To’s” of WordPress and Google Analytics and SEO, etc. and will be writing more about entrepreneurship, leadership, freelancing, and a much higher level strategy based look at SEO and Social.

The How-To’s and step-by-step posts will continue over at my digital marketing agency site.

If you have any specific questions about entrepreneurship, freelancing, Snapchat, Facebook ads, Instagram stories, then please leave a comment or contact me with your question and I will answer in a post.

Posted in: SEO |

Why You Should Be Using Custom Snapchat Filters

First, if you aren’t using Snapchat for business, then you need to read why your business should be on Snapchat.

I am now assuming that if you are still reading this post, you are currently using Snapchat. If you are, then you may or may not be familiar with the current free Snapchat filters. If you take a picture or video in Snapchat and then swipe left or right, you will be able to use one of the free filters. These filters are also known as geo-filters.

Snapchat uses your location (as long as it is turned on) while you use the app to figure out which free filters to allow. For example, if you are in Manhattan, then you may be able to use the Manhattan skyline Snapchat filter.

A more recent example was the Snapchat filters that were created for the Super Bowl. If you were at the game, you were able to access additional filters that included the score and time of the game, a Broncos or Panthers logo, etc.

Snapchat has recently announced that they are allowing custom filters to be created for a price. The custom filters will start off at $5 and increase based on the amount of time of the filter and the area it will be used.

Below are four reasons why you should be using custom Snapchat Filters

Cost

As previously mentioned, the cost is starting at just $5 for a custom filter. That means for the cost of a latte or frappacino, you could have your own custom Snapchat filter. If you are not able to afford the costs of the Snapchat filter, then I think there are larger problems.

Brand Awareness

Every time someone uses the Snapchat filter and either shares the image / video on their Story or with their friends and followers, your brand is gaining more recognition.

Fan Engagement

Snapchatters love filters. They use them. They may even snap a picture just because of the filter where if there was not a filter, they may have never taken the photo. For example, let’s take a retail brand like Hollister. The benefits of creating a custom filter that can be used inside their store locations so that customers can take pictures and share with their friends is much higher than the costs for creating it.

Cross Promotion

Snapchat also offers the opportunity to download and save your photo to your camera roll. That means, you can use the Snapchat filters, text, and paint brush tool to mark up your photo, and then save. Once that photo is saved to your camera roll, you can then share to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social network that you use. This means that when someone uses your custom Snapchat filter, it can be cross promoted amongst other social media channels. For example, a contest could be ran on Facebook by having people share their Snapchat custom filter photo on Facebook. You are now reaching the audiences of both of the customers followers.

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