Hey Brandi,
I could spend a lot of money on services to help run my marketing. Which tools do I really need? 

This is one of the biggest challenges that many freelancers, solopreneurs, and entrepreneurs face.  Quite honestly, trying to pick the right tools is more than challenging – it's overwhelming. How do you make sure that you pick the right solution, without paying too much? How do they work together? Are you going to spend more time trying to figure out how to use those tools than you actually spend on your business?

Slow down. Take a deep breath.

There are a few keys to finding the right tools for your business, from the back-end to your website to automation tools. Of course, I have my own recommendations, but the key is to find the right tools for you.

Before you worry about which tools you need, decide what your strategy is. (Strategy is just a fancy way of saying “plan.”) For example, if you're really focused on email newsletters to communicate with new subscribers, then you should invest in a good email service provider. On the other hand, if you really want to use custom series of emails depending on where people sign up for your newsletter, then marking automation may be better for you. Most social media tools have a platform (or two) that they're better at than others.

When you're thinking about using a new app or tool to manage your marketing, here are a few things to ask yourself:

  1. Why do you think you need this tool? Do you think you need it because someone else (particularly some online business celebrity) says that it's changed their life? Is your business the same as theirs? Your life? Don't spend money just because you want to “be like Mike.”
  2. What is your goal for using the tool? Is it to save time? Save money? Increase your reach? How does this help you reach your goal?
  3. Does it fit in your budget? There are some incredible services out there to help you with your marketing – but they're also priced for the large enterprise. Don't get in over your head with subscription services until you've got the business to support it. Each one of those services that is only $14.99 or $29 a month add up quickly!
  4. Does it fit with your other solutions? This may be one of the harder questions to answer if you're not tech savvy. Sometimes I'll even draw how I want the information to move between my services. If I don't see the name of the service that I want to connect to listed on the website, I'll reach out to their support team before I buy. Who knows, maybe they'll even build the integration for you!