These are the tools and services I use in my own business. I’m adding to this list, too, so you’ll see more free tools added soon. Bookmark this page and come back often.
I have used several hosting accounts when I was still working as a virtual assistant. These are the companies I have personally use.
- Hostgator – is where I refer people who are totally new to online business. I’ve been a customer for years. They’re used to handling support from scared new online business owners. Highly recommend.
- Bluehost – If for some reason you are seeking an alternative, another good option is Bluehost. A lot of my clients used this and I never had a problem with them.
You can’t go wrong with either choice.
I have tried a couple of themes in the past but while most of them are indeed visually pleasing, it took a handful to stand out from the crowd— GeneratePress, Genesis, Divi, and Thrive Themes. I’m currently using GeneratePress.
For the business to thrive and develop its own pool of client base, creating a list is mandatory.
- ConvertKit – They are marketing-friendly, easy to use, and I’m getting a lot of flexibility that I’ve always wanted.
- Thrive Leads – Being able to make opt-ins in the middle of the blog or having a cool-looking drop down for the same purpose is perhaps the greatest strength of Thrive Leads. In fact, despite my clear preference towards ConvertKit, I still make use of Thrive Leads to complement the former when generating opt-ins.
- Clickfunnels – I love Clickfunnels. It may be relatively more expensive, but it does work for what it was intended to do—build you list of clients.
Admin and Communication
- Todoist – I really love their UI. Allows me to track projects and who is working on each one. They also have text reminders which are really handy.
- Google Suite – Bringing the same functionality that makes the Microsoft Office tools an essential part of the most workspace, but online, you know that you have a clear winner with the Google Suite as a tool for business. Honestly, I can’t imagine my business without it.
- Zoom – I used to love Skype but I switch to zoom. You see I use screen share function often. If I’m working with a coaching client or even one of my Virtual Assistants, it’s oftentimes easier to say “Show me, please” when I don’t quite understand something. It’s a great way to connect with the people who I work with regularly.
- Acuity Scheduling – Keeping tabs with the schedule is one of my weaknesses. However, that is no longer a big issue with an app like Acuity on my phone and computer.
- Lastpass – Keeps track of all of my logins, usernames, and passwords, so I don’t have to.
- Mindmeister – I’ve been using this mindmap app for almost 10 years now.
Blog Plugins that I Love
- Social Warfare – this is my go to plugin to get more social love. It’s lightning fast and they track shares better than other services I’ve used.
- Thrive Leads – Being able to make opt-ins in the middle of the blog or having a cool-looking drop down for the same purpose is perhaps the greatest strength of Thrive Leads. In fact, despite my clear preference towards
Social Media Management
Social media is inevitable–we use it all the time, especially for our clients. Sometimes it gets to the point that it becomes too overwhelming and too much to handle. I’ve been there, but through experience, I’ve finally created the perfect mix of social media management tools that have helped me become more efficient.
- Hootsuite – It’s one of the most comprehensive tools out there for social media managers. Why? It’s easy to use, and its free plan already has a LOT of features, making it a top choice for managers who are just starting out.
- Social Pilot – After using Hootsuite for 8 long years, I decided to switch to Social Pilot.
- Buffer – I use Buffer when I am focused mainly on scheduling posts and analyzing the statistics of every single post.
- Tailwind – Whether you are a blogger or part of a bigger company, Tailwind will work wonders for you. This is one of my favorite tools because I use Instagram and Pinterest regularly. It’s definitely one of my go-to tools.
- PicMonkey – From simple editing to full-on graphic design, PicMonkey does not disappoint.
- Canva – Spend less time thinking of creative presentations, posters, and even invitations because Canva is your one-stop shop for design solutions.
DISCLOSURE – Many of these recommendations will contain affiliate links for recommended products or services. These are personally used and reviewed by Valerie and she’ll receive a commission for any resulting sales.