The 5 Game-Changing Tools I Can't Live Without in my Biz

There is nothing more important to me than empowering my clients to DRIVE their own businesses.

From managing their websites, to sending out their own email newsletters to setting up payment portals for monetizing their work, online business isn't online business without the ability to do these vital things.

Being shackled to a high-priced web designer or needing to hire someone to do every.single.teensy.thing. in our businesses does us (and our clients) no good. 

I've searched high and low and have invested in loads of tools to sift through to find the best of the best for you.

In my work as a branding and business coach and creator of Brand Love Studio, my goal is to keep it simple so you can start doing your good work ASAP.

Check out the my top 5 game-changing tools I can't live without (and a few honorable mentions thrown in for good measure).

  1. Squarespace - This one is a no-brainer. Pro-look and feel, modern aesthetic, drag + drop and super user-friedly...I absolutely heart Squarespace. 

    I design exclusively on Squarespace for my clients and the #1 reason is so they can manage their sites without having to pay a high-priced web designer every time they want to make an edit to their site. And If you're anything like me, you like to make tweaks often and quickly. It's a beautiful solution for the WordPress-Phobes in the crowd.

    BONUS: If you sign-up for SS with the code GIMME10 you will receive 10% off. (I am not an affiliate, though I should be!) 
     
  2. Facebook - I know, I know...let's get original, Amber. But seriously, I could not make this list without putting FB on here. It is the digi-home for the soul-centered connection over in the Brand Love Bestie Tribe and the hangout for all of my online courses and the Live Your Freedom Mastermind. It's the place I've reconnected with friends from high school and been able to find recommendations on everything from plumbers to pediatric dentists. Facebook is a gift and I will be forever grateful for Mark Z.'s brilliant brainwave that has made so much possible for entrepreneurs, like us, all around the world.
     
  3. Zoom Meeting - You MUST...I repeat MUST use Zoom meeting if you are someone who meets with people virtually (Sorry Skype, but Zoom is my boo).

    I use it for 1:1 client meetings, group meetings, webinars, video recordings and interviews. You can screenshare and record in HD...it's bananas. You can sign-up for free and host 40-minute meetings up the wazoo. You will have to upgrade for anything longer, but it's totally worth the $150 investment for all of its versatile uses (i.e. I record ALL of my training videos on Zoom!)
     
  4. Basecamp - This has been a new addition to the Brand Love arsenal, but it has proven to be the best, multi-faceted project management tool I have found to date. Save files, create to dos, collaborate with your team and see all of your "stuff" on one-screen. For the visual-types in the crowd, the ability to get a snapshot of client work, upcoming deadlines and to dos in ONE SPOT is invaluable. The added bonus of being able to assign tasks to my team and even share projects with clients, if need be, is super helpful. They have a 2-month free trial, which gives you ample time to test out if it's going to work for you or not.
     
  5. Calendly - ***Cue the voices of angels*** The power of the scheduler...Am I right? Feeling like your calendar is a hot mess makes everything else a hot mess in your life and biz.

    Countless clients of mine have totally transformed the way their run their businesses with this amazing tool. They've gone from paper calendars or calendars only on their phones (can you relate?) to having ONE centralized calendar that works with all of their devices simultaneously. Huzzah!!! It integrates seamlessly with Google Calendar and when you book in a personal appointment, your availability windows close for client meetings. Talk about freedom!

    As entrepreneur, minimizing steps in the process, the number of emails I am sending and the to dos on my list equals more money and time I get to save. You can sign-up for free with one event type...and I absolutely love the look and feel and the ability to customize my own colors and branding.

Honorable Mentions: 

Mailchimp - The good ol' "ChimpMonkey" as my assistant Jamie and I like to call it. Automated email responses, affordable price point and easy to use. Squarespace and Mailchimp are buddies, too, so the integration in the Newsletter blocks on SS is uber-simple. I absolutely recommend MC to anyone needing a relatively basic email newsletter management tool. Sign-up, start building a list and growing your empire. 

Everydollar.com - This is a tool created by the budgeting force of nature that is Dave Ramsey. I have not participated in any of his programs, but a good friend of mine (who is launching her business very soon!) swears by his "Zero Balance Budget" philosophy and this digital app to help you manage your family's budget. We have revolutionized the way we manage our money in our life and in my business and now know where every penny is going each month, what I need to hit for my revenue targets (and save for taxes) and what we've got going in to our long-term savings with the use of this fancy little app and website. Check it out!

Periscope - Live communication. A real-time, real-talk platform. I do them a few times a week and love the new connections I've been able to make with new audiences, the ability to share content and improve on my public speaking skills. For those of you who are afraid of putting yourselves out there, Periscope is an awesome place to begin! 

What are your favorite tools? Share in the comments below so we can check out your latest digi-gems.


Is your Biz a hot mess? Need a Brand Makeover?  Let's chat...

Amber Lilyestrom

Amber Lilyestrom is a soul-based branding & business coach, writer and motivational speaker. Amber currently coaches new and established entrepreneurs in creating strategies to transform their brands and businesses. She also works with individuals who want to leave their current careers and launch their big idea. From idea conception to the construction of the business and all of its digital assets, Amber assists new entrepreneurs in making “the big leap.”