tools

Online Resources More Helpful Than Hiring Interns

If you’re like me, you’re a one-woman show. You’re trying to “Do It All” in your business or blog. Doing the writing, the graphics, the tech & the books, all yourself.

Look, nobody is good at everything (And the people who seem to be on Instagram are LYING TWERPS).

Here's some great advice I received once, and still have to remember every single day:

You can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything you want.

Without further ado (my favorite phrase), here are the tools to turn your web browser into a team of interns - minus the office gossip.

Your Graphic Design InternCanva

If you’re trying to use social media to market yourself, you know this already: it’s all about visuals.

You need beautiful, clickable images for Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter sharing. Who has the time, skills, or money to make dozens of graphics a week?

Enter Canva. The solution to your problems. When they say "Amazingly Simple Graphic Design Software," they mean it. 

To learn more about it, check out this video I made to introduce people to the app.

Your Copywriting/Editing Intern(s): ZenPen.io & The Hemingway App

ZenPen is the simplest way to sit down, get focused, and knock out the first draft of your next sales page or blog post. You just go to the site, add a word target, and click the full screen option to remove all distractions.

"Write drunk, edit sober." -Hemingway

After you knock out that pesky first (and maybe second) draft, hop over to HemingwayApp.com.

This tool highlights hard-to-read sentences, passive voice, overused words, and other bad habits.

I love this app, but I'd love meeting Hemingway more.

Your Office Intern: 17 Hats

I stumbled on 17Hats by mistake, but I didn't realize its power for a while.

When I first started figuring out client work, the toughest thing for me wasn’t “how do I get leads?” even though getting leads is tougher than outrunning a raging bull sometimes. Nope, the scariest, most confusing thing was “Now that I have a lead, What the hell do I do with it?” What do I say? Do I email? Call? 

How many leads have slipped through the cracks because you didn’t know how to take advantage of them?

Fortunately for me, 17Hats answered this whopper of a problem. You create a “workflow” for your sales funnel or service. 17hats adds leads to the funnel automatically when you use their lead capture forms.

Then, 17hats tells you exactly what to do and when to do it, in a repeatable pattern you can use on each new lead! The more you use it & refine your workflows, the more powerful it gets.

This platform does pretty much everything you need in your office. The app also manages:

  •  client relationships
  • time tracking
  • invoices
  • to do lists
  • email templates
  • bookkeeping… the list goes on. 

I haven’t discovered all its great features yet, but I plan to create a video intro to the software soon. Let me know in the comments if you'd like that! Click here to check out a free trial.

Your Social Media Intern: Buffer

When it comes to social media marketing software, you have tons of options.

You could go with Hootsuite, Buffer, Edgar, or Social Sprout, just to name a few.

As for me, I use Buffer.  It’s simple, does what I need, and it’s relatively inexpensive.

You could throw a rock at the web and hit twelve articles comparing SM software, so I'm going to keep it short & simple.

 Top Contenders:

Edgar (the new guy) vs. Buffer (the old hat)

Buffer is simple, efficient, and at $10 a month, quite manageable for me. I get helpful analytics, including my top posts for the month. 

Edgar does the same thing, but with a few added features.  

  • He recycles your best posts and makes sure they don’t go to waste.
  • He incorporates the 5 sharing categories Laura Roeder teaches in Social Brilliant. (BTW, Social Brilliant is amazing.)

The categories help you balance your content to get conversions without being "salesy." 

The only reason I don’t use Edgar is the price. It’s sky-high, and I’m not willing to invest $50 on just social media management every month. 

*Only Hootsuite allows you to check all your streams & notifications in one place. You can read all your twitter notifications, mentions, instagram tags, etc. from their dashboard. It's a handy feature, and could be a game changer for people who hate getting all social.

For me, these tools help me avoid the overwhelmed "I'm all alone" meltdowns (most days), and I love them for it!

If these are helpful to you, I put them together in a PDF with links + extras for you! (You're welcome)

Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you! 

XOXO

Ashton

PS. Do your friends a solid and help them on their way by sharing these. It also helps me stay in business without busy-ness because I've included a few affiliate links.