If only I had a dollar for every time someone asked to pick my brain…
I’d be able to take at least a month off.
So, here’s a collection of my favourite digital things. Website themes, content resources, hosting, legals… oh, and really good people! Everything you need besides a whip-smart copywriter to ensure your communications are glitter-bomb good.
I’ve used every one of these products and services or recommended them to my satisfied clients. I might be an affiliate for some of these links, but I think they’ll rock your business like they have mine.
Elegant Themes creates beautiful themes. Their Divi theme helps owners build mobile responsive, robust websites without knowing any code. The best thing about Divi is not being locked into a WP framework you might be bored of in a year, you can simply pull the whole site apart visually and put it back together. There are online support forums, loads of free layouts to play with, and bonus: your favourite copywriter is Divi competent so I can even content upload and help you design page structures that will convert beautifully.
You know when you walk into a room full of women and you just know you’ve found your place? That’s Roooar. It’s a combination of free online magazine and paid membership group where competition is slashed in favour of collaboration and education. Monthly Masterminds with some of the world’s eminent women in business along with regular classes and a closed, safe Facebook group. I’m yet to find anything else quite like it.
Sometimes the price difference between amazing hosting and really awful hosting is only an extra $20 a year. That’s four coffees. A slow host will not only mean Google sneers at you but you may also spend time frustrated with down time. 24-hour support, fast turnaround times, live chat, and excellent customer service means a great all-around experience.
Because who has time to email back and forth seven times to sort a good time that suits everyone? Well, I made time for the first year before getting myself onto this baby. Acuity is easy to set up for even the most technophobic, cost effective to manage, looks great, sends your people appointment reminders and instructions when you need it to and generally saves you hours of what I like to call ‘faff’ time. You can install it on your website so when someone buys time with you, they’re instantly transported to your Acuity calendar where they can choose a time that suits you both. Hooray for less faffing!
Because while website themes, hosting, copywriting, graphic design, marketing advice, and business coaching are all things you should invest in, buying a domain name shouldn’t break the bank. In fact, my 37 domain names barely scratch the lower limit of my business credit card and they’re all through Crazy Domains. Go to town!
It’s time to wipe everything you know about SEO from your mind – chances are it’s wrong, or misinformed. You wouldn’t go to a plumber for a new logo, right? So why would you get SEO knowledge anywhere else other than directly from the experts? The self-confessed nerds at BloggersSEO are some of the most knowledgeable, quick to respond, and kindest tech geeks I’ve ever worked with and their new courses are the flipping bomb.
If grammar, spelling, and punctuation constantly trip up your online communications, I’m about to save your life. Grammarly proof-reads live as you write – in Word, on social media, and on your website. There’s a fabulous free version and the premium is even better. This one’s a no-brainer.
Creative Market is like an online version of your favourite pretty shop – like Typo, or The Store – where you apologise to your credit card before you enter. A vertiable treasure trove of design elements, illustration, filters, graphics, images, and oh, so many fonts. It’s delicious and beautiful and, heck you’ll be wanting one of everything.
Active Campaign is like the big sister of your MailChimp campaigns. They not only provide an excellent platform for automations and funnels, there’s also all kinds of tricky elements allowing you to track, integrate other programs, and design some beautiful email marketing campaigns with a little more intutitive interface than you’d be used to with MailChimp.
The Hemingway Editor allows you to easily spot common sentence structure and copy issues to creating compelling content. It highlights complex phrases, sentences that are too long, and, most helpfully, adverbs and passive voice! While you should never rely on an app or program alone to proofread and copy edit your work, running your copy through Hemingway is a good start.
Do you have a social media person, a web designer, a developer, an email campaign sorter-outterer, or a VA? Are you one of those people that writes all your passwords on tiny scraps of paper and then promptly loses the lot? LastPass will keep your bevy of hard-to-guess goodies in one spot all hidden behind a super heavy, very tighly closed virtual door. Bonus: there’s a free version!
Lauren June Business Development Strategist
If I have a functioning business that feeds children it’s probably because of Lauren. She’s the kind of strategist that spots a gap a mile off and doesn’t let you shrink away from it, but will then celebrate like you’ve won a Grammy when you level up. She works with women to build businesses with foundations of steel so they don’t suffer the crushing ramifications of broken dreams. Lauren takes big picture concepts and breaks them down into easy to implement steps so your business can grow to the kind that suits the lifestyle you want. She is one of my loudest advocates. She could be yours too.
Blue Wren Solutions
When it came to hiring a VA I was about as picky as I was with my wedding dress. After a couple of nasty burns from inexperienced assistants, I happened across Jodie. I almost hesitate to recommend this extraordinarily clever lady, because, well, basically I don’t want any of you to hire her in case she doesn’t have all the time in the world for me. But, I hazard a guess that she makes all her clients feel like they’re the most important ones. Kind of like how I tell all my kids they’re my favourite. She brings 25 years of admin experience to small business life including project managements, recruitment, and mentoring. She’s not just a VA. She’s a freaking angel. Actually, don’t hire her. I think I’m going to move her in.
Create Real Change
Maria is the ultimate truth teller when it comes to ‘passive income’. She helps experienced professionals systemise, optimise and digitalise their expertise. In doing so, she helps to create quality learning experiences that engage, inspire and motivate their clients to create real change. It’s her life mission to take the lack-lustre courses, workshops and presentations of this world – both virtual and live – and transform them into ‘it-changed-my-life’ experiences. You can work with Maria in person in Perth or Bali, or online. She also has a plethora of free content online you can download, inhale, then implement. If you’re going to launch an anything – online course, program, training – get onto Maria’s site first.
Kits and Bits
Lynette has a superpower: she takes tech and makes it understandable. Plus, in this online world where every digital step you take seems to require a total renovation, she actually makes branding easier. She’s a Microsoft wizard (always handy to have at a workshop when your PowerPoint won’t load), shares more free content to help small businesses than I’ll ever be able to consume, and is genuinely a decent human. Working with Lynette is an absolute pleasure; she’s rip-roaring fun but also gets the job done – in about half the time you’d expect.
It’s no secret – money makes me nervous. Making it, charging it, not having it, speaking nicely to it. My first year(s) of business have been a steep, uphill curve of learning when it comes to accounts, money, tax, and mindset. If you’re anything like me, you need a bit of Denise in your life. She’s the bona fide real deal when it comes to mindset strategy and support and runs multiple courses throughout the year so you can tackle your own headspace in your own home!
I was terrified of the prospect of running my own online course until I met Sam at ProBlogger. Sam loves creating courses and workshops and helping other folk to create courses and workshops. That love makes the fear dissapate – a bit. She helps you get all the ‘stuff’ from your head and turn it into a course and has over ten years of experience helping people do it. Sam is the main reason I have a range of online learning coming out. She spent an hour online with me, sorted me out with her no fuss, gentle approach, and had me ready to work by the end of our session.
Facebook Ads for List Building
There are a lot of people online offering Facebook training. Bianca McKenzie is a cut above.
Over the past two years, over one hundred women in business have used this course to grow their mailing lists by using Facebook advertising. The course teaches step by step methods and strategy for using FB Ads to grow your mailing list and Bianca seems to be able to easily translate ‘Facebookbackendese’ into clear, oh-that-makes-sense English.
FB Ads for List Building is a step by step methodology to preparing, setting up, managing and measuring your Facebook Ads.
Joanne Tapodi Creative
I know I am a huge WordPress advocate, but working with Joanne on a couple of her Squarespace websites may have slightly converted me. Joanne specialises in creative design for small businesses and start-ups and combines a strong focus on brand design with understanding and compassion for the exciting/scary journey for clients undergoing the branding process. If you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind, divinely designed Squarespace website, Joanne is your girl.
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. You’ll notice, however, that there’s only one affiliate per tech service. That’s because I only recommend something I’ve worked with myself or have seen my clients have success with. Ultimately, make a decision based on all the information you can find along with personal recommendations like mine.
You’ll also notice some of the folk I’ve recommended for specific services have other offerings too. That’s because they’re brilliantly multi-faceted, however, I’ve mentioned the parts of their business I’ve used and had success with.
If you enter into a business agreement with any of these providers or freelancers, you agree to release me from any responsibility in relation to that relationship. (That’s legalese for “do your homework!”)