At the Misfit Entrepreneur, we use a number of tools to help us produce and promote our show, blog, brand, social media, and manage our business. After a lot of searching and trial, we have found a set of tools that are the easiest to use, offer the best services and capabilities, and while, we do pay for upgraded setups of them now; they all have awesome free versions that can help any business. In fact, on all of these we share below, we started on the free versions.
Best Resource to Easily Creating a Website: WEEBLY
We love using Weebly for websites. Our site is built on the Weebly platform. After using everything from Wordpress to WIX and others, we have found Weebly the easiest to use, manage, and leverage. There are probably some capabilities that the others have that offer a little more in some areas, but for the all around experience, you can't beat Weebly. Their drag and drop website builder is easy, intuitive, and fun to use and build with. The standard setup comes with just about everything someone getting started needs and they have everything else, including app plugins for your needs as you grow.
Weebly also has integrated shopping carts, membership site capabilities, and the ability do newsletters and subscription services all within the platform.
I have used Weebly for almost a decade since they first started and it has been amazing to see how much the platform has grown and continues to grow. Even at the most expensive upgraded version, it's only a few hundred bucks a year.
They offer a great free account version that can handle most everything for new sites, blogs, etc.
Here is a link to set-up a free account with them from Misfit.
*Full disclosure, nowadays Misfit works with Weebly as an affiliate. After using them for a long time and choosing them for the Misfit site, it made sense to finally have a relationship.
Best Resource for Managing and Growing Your Presence on Twitter: CROWDFIRE
There are a million tools for managing your social media presence and they all have their own benefits and challenges. Some are really good for specific platforms and some are really good for more general management.
Crowdfire is one that we have found that is really good for managing and growing your presence on Twitter. What we like about Crowdfire (aside from the fun to interact with "FireBot") is that it actively manages things for you on a daily basis and gives you what you need to do in a daily "prescription." All you have to do is follow the next step. And it takes about 15 minutes a day to manage. They have a great App so you can manage on the go as well.
Crowdfire really does everything for Twitter. It analyzes your new followers and gives them to you to review and decide to follow or not. It suggests people to follow based on your key words and topics. It suggests people to follow that follow your competitors or similar accounts to you. And it curates content and articles to share based on your interests and focus.
It's easy, quick, and allows you to stay well connected with your audience on Twitter. They recently released a version for Instagram as well.
Check it out at www.crowdfire.com.
Best Resource for Creating Cool Pics and Images: PABLO BY BUFFER
To go along with Crowdfire, we also use Buffer at Misfit. Buffer is a pretty well-known tool that has been written about extensively. It has a great free version for posting content to all of your social media networks. But, one thing that is less known and that is really cool, is the Pablo app and site that you get, even with a free version of Buffer. Pablo allows you to create awesome social media images to go with your content. You can edit and create different versions and looks of the hundreds of templates available to you, as well as add quotes or your own text. You can also upload your own images and do the same.
It is easy to use and navigate and allows you to knock out awesome pics with your message in just a few seconds.
Check it out at https://pablo.buffer.com/.
Best Resource for Email Marketing, List Management, and Engagement: BENCHMARK EMAIL
I absolutely love Benchmark. Over the years, I have used everything from Constant Contact to Aweber and Mailchimp. In fact, when setting up Misfit, we reviewed and tested over 10 different tools in this area and Benchmark was the best. Benchmark's UI is easy and super intuitive. Its integrations are excellent. It is easy to integrate into any website, including Weebly. In fact, the Misfit Minute Signup is a Benchmark integration. Benchmark has a great autoresponder setup that is easy to manage and use. Additionally, they allow for split testing in your emails and automate it, making it easier to see which messages your audience like most.
Benchmark has a number of other features, but after using them for little while, we were thoroughly impressed and continue to be. We brought them on as a sponsor for Misfit and they offer our audience a really great free account with up to 2,000 email addresses. For many, that is all they'll ever need, so it's a sweet deal. The cool part is they don't limit functionality on the free account!
Best Resource for Curating Attention Grabbing Headlines and Post Titles: COSCHEDULE HEADLINE ANALYZER
Let's face it, you can have the best content in the world, but if you can't get it noticed, then it doesn't matter. For a while, I never really paid attention to the titles of posts or what I wrote when I shared an article until I was fortunate to attend a Mastermind with some of the best marketers online today. One of them said something that resonated in huge way with me, "You have to sell the click first!"
So true. People are bombarded with content and articles, blog posts, videos, and everything in-between all day. It's your job to find a way to separate yourself from the pack and grab that two to three seconds of attention that makes someone listen to what you have to say or share. You do that by selling the click, by having an interesting and attention grabbing headline.
How do you do that? How do you know what is going to work? Well, that is where Coschedule's Headline Analyzer comes in. You simply type your headline in and it will score it based on a number of factors and let you know if it is good or not. I have found that scores over 70 are pretty solid consistently, so you may have to play with your headline to get there. But it is really worth it. I mean why spend all of the time writing something or sharing it if no one is going to read it or see it?
Once I understood this and incorporated it into my content routines, I definitely started to notice an uptick in views, shares, and interaction from others.
The best part is that it is a totally free tool. Check it out at http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer.
There are a lot of great tools and solutions out there to help you in your business and your brand, and you have to find out what works best for you and how you operate. But, we have definitely made great use of the tools above starting with their free versions and moving from there. Hopefully they can help you too!
This post was originally published on Dave Lukas's LinkedIn page here. Dave Lukas is founder and host at The Misfit Entrepreneur, and entrepreneur, author, investor based in Ohio. Read more and listen to the Misfit Entrepreneur at www.misfitentrepreneur.com.