Business Tools

Hey everyone! I wanted to share my favorite business tools and “freedom” resources with you all, so I created this page to have them all in one place. I’ll be updating the information as needed.

Please note, I either currently use or have used these resources for my business, and they are highly recommended. I am also an affiliate of the options marked by an asterisk (*), which means I earn a commission should you choose to purchase using my link. If you’re considering using any of these resources for your business, check them out and see which would work for you. Enjoy!

shadow-ornament

MY FAVORITE BUSINESS TOOLS

*HOSTGATOR: I currently use Hostgator for all of my business websites. This is a one-stop shop for all of your website and domain needs. They have great rates and it's super easy to install WordPress with them. I started with the "Hatchling" plan for this website, and recently upgraded to the "Baby" plan, so I can use multiple domains on the same account; all for under $12 per month! If you're not sure how to get started with WordPress, check out the tutorial I used to create my website from scratch.  By the way, if you use my discount code "HIRALDO", you'll receive up to 25% OFF your order! You can have your own self-hosted blog and website up within 24 hours, for under $30. Check it out! Hostgator also provides you with a ton of storage space for all of the images and files in your website.

 

*WEBINARJAM: This business tool helped me build my email list and Youtube channel. One of its main features is to allow you to host live (and recorded) webinars, using Google Hangouts. This way you can have an unlimited number of participants on your webinars, and includes a chat box, for your participants to ask questions. Webinarjam helps you build custom registration pages or you can use one of their many templates, so you can host both free and paid webinars. I've hosted both, and integrated with my mailing list, which all participants have the option to join yours. Because WJ works with Google, you have the option of having your webinars be automatically uploaded onto your Youtube channel (even if they are long - I've hosted webinars which were over 2 hours long, and there were no issues when the video uploaded onto my channel). You can host classes, tutorials, interviews, private meetings, and so much more! Check out their page so you can learn about all of the features available to you! This has been my FAVORITE go-to tool for creating my videos; it even helps me share my screen for my tutorials. Highly recommended!

 

SUMOME: This is one of my favorite plug-ins for WordPress. They feature many free and paid options to help you add vital elements to your website, such as social media buttons and pop-ups. Using the features available will help you boost traffic to your site and also build your email list.

 

CANVA: I love Canva so, so much! I use it for 90% of my business graphics, documents, and promotional materials. As long as you use the free elements, you don't have to pay a thing for your graphics. You can even upload your own images to use. You can create things like e-books, print-outs, advertisements, and more.

 

MAILCHIMP: This is my current email list manager. I signed up for a free account, and you can upgrade according to your needs. The free account gives you the flexibility to create various lists, integrate with your website and other apps; you can send individual emails and group emails to your email lists, and you can send them manually or set them to be sent at a later time (scheduled). I have my MC account currently integrated with all of my business tools (as listed here); as a plug-in in WordPress, integrated with Optimizepress, WebinarJam, and Wufoo. You can create plain emails or customize them with your brand colors and images. MC is easy to use and you can customize as needed.

 

*OPTIMIZEPRESS: What a lifesaver (and money saver) this program is! Optimizepress is what I use for most of my pages. You integrate it with WordPress to create beautiful and custom sales pages, landing pages, course pages, and more! I bought OP to create sales pages and later to create my courses. I've also been able to set up membership sites according to my needs. When the time came to create my online courses, I researched into the other popular programs and apps, such as Kajabi and Coursecraft, but found that this one was the most cost effective (a one-time payment of $97), and you get the most bang for your buck (you receive 3 licenses; which means you can use it under 3 different domains). I've been using OP for over 6 months now and have created over thirty pages under this domain (just one license). So if I ever purchase other domains, I can create other courses and membership sites using the same account, at no additional cost! They offer a large variety of pre-made templates so you don't have to worry about creating a website from scratch, but can start from a blank canvas if you love to build. This is the best option, in my opinion, if you are a little more tech savvy. If you're not hands-on with your websites and are intimidated by code and customizing, then OP may not be the best option for you. They have a supportive customer service team, however, and many tutorials, if you find yourself stuck. Plus, you can integrate the 'Optimizemember' feature (which if offered for all members, free) to create a seamless sales funnel and integrate with payment gateways such as Paypal.

Business Tools
WUFOO: I use Wufoo for all of my online application forms. This is a great way to gather information from your clients, and you can even integrate it with your email manager so all sign-ups are included within your list. You can create a free account to start and can customize all of your forms. This is a similar application to Google Forms, but with a simpler URL. I use a Wufoo form, for example, for all potential clients looking to work with me 1-on-1. The questions posed in the form allow me to get to know my potential clients. You can also use Wufoo to create surveys.
PAYPAL: I love using Paypal because it's easy to use and is widely known (and trusted). You can easily send and receive payments online, withdraw to your account, or use your Paypal card. You can even create different payment buttons and services for your website; I have Paypal already integrated with all of my products and services.
CALENDLY: I've tried so many free calendars, and this one is the BEST of them all! You also have the option to upgrade to their paid services, but I've been using it free. You can  integrate it with your Google calendar or Outlook, to set up appointments as needed. I use it with Google, and as soon as something is scheduled I automatically receive the update on my Google Calendar and phone (I use an Android). You can also sync it to receive updates from your calendar, if you make changes to it. You can even set your availability and customize your appointment times and information required. I feel Calendly has the most features even while using it free. This is what I use for appointments with my clients.
*DEPOSITPHOTOS: This is my go-to site to find royalty-free stock images. If you ever need high-quality, professional images, vectors, and videos, this is the place to do so! You can either pay-per-image, or purchase a "bundle". Browse through the millions of graphics they currently offer so you can see the quality they provide. I've used many of their images to create my posts for Instagram, as well as for promotional banners and ads.