Tools for Entrepreneurs - www.maganward.com

MAGAN WARD

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I'm Magan!

Wife, mama, and educator obsessed with chick-fil-a mac & cheese and dry shampoo.

An entrepreneur since the ripe old age of 5 when I would sell a single cracker with spreadable cheese from my lunch box for $0.25. 

I have built a successful photography business while working for a decade in the insurance industry. 

I hold my Masters in Education and love to teach. So it is no secret that I would teach from all I have learned along the way.

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Whether you are new to the entrepreneurial world or have been around for a few years, it is always helpful to see what tools other entrepreneurs are using in their business. Not at all for comparison purposes, but to see if there is something that might help you streamline your current processes a little bit more

I put together a quick little list of my favorite online tools for you that you can get here. Or you can read through this blog to see what my current favorite day-to-day business tools are.

Website

ShowIt! It is not just for photographers, y’all. Literally ANY business can utilize a ShowIt site! Their platform is made for ease of use – no coding, no required placement – you choose where you want content to be on your site with their drag and drop features.

I confess I did hire a designer to put it together in the beginning. But now I am able to do any and all updates on my own, and could confidently design my own site from scratch if I wanted to.

best website tools

If you don’t want to invest in a designer just yet or are a DIY’er, then there are some really awesome templates out there that are amazing and easy to use! It also has a built-in blog option with WordPress along with other amazing plugins such as Shopify so you can sell your products!

Blog

WordPress. ALL THE WAY! Which if you read above, comes built-in with my ShowIt site! WordPress has proven to be the tried and true platform for bloggers across the world and is user friendly. It also provides its own plugins for a comprehensive SEO analysis, readability optimization, search engine snippet customization (how you show up on Google), and much more. 

Online Store

Shopify. For all of my products, digital and physical, I use ShopifyLite that works amazing with my ShowIt site. I can sell both digital download products as well as tangible products with ease, keep up with inventory, and provide a look that ties in with my branding on my main site. 

Customer Software Management (Customer Relation Management)

You will hear this called CSM, CRM, and all sorts of other things. I utilize HoneyBook for all of my photography bookings and absolutely love it. I have been able to keep up on my communication with clients, send out contracts for signatures, and take payment all in one place. It is nice and organized, and I can incorporate my branding throughout.

Social Media Planning 

planning tools

Planoly is what I use for planning Instagram posts, and I use Tailwind for scheduling Pinterest pins. Though, it is important for you to know that Tailwind will also now handle Instagram scheduling for us too! I haven’t made that jump from Planoly to Tailwind just yet, but give it time and I will likely transfer one of my accounts to Tailwind for comparison (and I’m certain I will blog about it so you can have all the deets!).  

Email Marketing

MailerLite has my heart right now as a FREE option! It is MUCH more user friendly than the platform I was previously using (it had a primate as the logo…). Plus, MailerLite is one of the amazing FREE options out there for those just starting out. You can even build your landing pages in it if desired. I build my landing pages on my website within ShowIt and just embed the easy-to-build contact forms in MailerLite.

Setting up your email sequencing and sending campaign emails within MailerLite is easy as pie, too! 

Stock Images

There are so many tools for entrepreneurs to get access to stock images. If I am not making my own images, Social Squares has a wide array of images to sprinkle throughout your website, social media platforms, and content for your audience that can help keep you on-brand! 

Team Project Management

Asana is my current go-to for projects my team and I are working on, or even with my peer mentors. What’s a peer mentor? It is a friend who is working on similar projects. Asana keeps our tasks organized so we can hold each other accountable. 

Dropbox is another – obvi reasons, I’m sure. It’s a good place to quickly drop in things to share with peers, or my team. 

Google Drive. For the same reasons as above with Dropbox…but I can create docs within Google Drive, and it is a lovely universal option. As I collab with fellow entrepreneurs from across the globe, we can all use Google Drive and Docs to share what we are working on seamlessly. 

Canva is the best for creating quick Pins for Pinterest, and various other graphics. I’m not the best at creating awesome graphics (I usually just hire this out to avoid the headache). But Canva has such great free options and I can build my own easily while staying on brand. 

Skype & Zoom are both great options for video calls with my team to check in or go over projects we are working on. 

DocuSign. Great for when I need to sign contracts with folks that don’t already utilize HoneyBook, or another CSM. 

I hope you find this list of business tools useful and it is able to help you get some of your time back and get back to doing what you love most!

For more tips on life and business make sure you bookmark Magan Ward and head on over to the blog!

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