These are some of my favourite books/articles, software and tools, and other resources I find useful in running my business. I use, love and recommend all these things and update this list occasionally.
Some of the resources here are my own that I’m offering for your use, while others are free or paid products, services, and resources offered by other companies and individuals. A few of these external tools and resources are affiliates, which means that I might earn a small commission if you purchase their products or services using the links on my website, at no cost to you.
I hope you find some of these useful on your entrepreneurial journey too!
Software, Apps & Platforms
Get the same workbook I use with my clients to clarify their brand purpose, ideal client, and positioning, so that you can write copy that speaks directly to your target audience.
Websites: all you need to get a site up and running!
Website Publishing Software
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that I recommend to coaches, consultants, and small businesses who want a website that is flexible and scalable.
It does have a steeper learning curve compared to website builders like Squarespace and Wix. However, it’s the way to go if you want to own all the content you publish on your website. Not only that, but the ever-expanding library of plug-ins allows you to extend your website’s functionality as your business and website needs grow.
If you’re a DIYer in need of a little guidance, this is one of the most helpful guides I’ve found: How to Start a WordPress Blog the Right Way in 7 Easy Steps by WPBeginner.
If you want a lightning-fast website that is safe from security risks, I highly recommend either Flywheel or SiteGround’s managed WordPress hosting. They both offer great affordable web hosting and have excellent customer service – crucial if you’re not getting premium services in the event that something crashes! (You can also buy your domain name from SiteGround.)
However, if you are just starting out, want to save on costs, and don’t mind figuring issues out for yourself when they do crop up, BlueHost is a very popular and affordable choice to get your website up and online.
I use Domain.com to manage multiple domains across different web hosts and love how simple it is to use. I’ve easily integrated subdomains to host other platform services (like ConvertKit and MemberVault).
In the event that I have trouble with documentation, I can contact support for speedy assistance!
I currently use the Genesis Framework with a customized child theme for my website. Basically, if you decide you want to use WordPress and need a fast, affordable, and customizable theme without having to build one from scratch, I recommend using Genesis with one of their child themes to make your website look good.
A (seemingly) great alternative that I’m considering for myself is Thrive Themes. It comes with fantastic built-in functionality and I’ll definitely add an update once I’ve tried it out!
If connecting and engaging with your audience via email is a priority for you, then email marketing automation is a game-changer! ConvertKit is my email marketing tool of choice to design automated email sequences, landing pages, and opt-in forms.
I love the software itself, but what makes ConvertKit really special for me is their training, support, and user community. This is a service and company I am really happy to stand behind!
If you’re just starting out, it’s worth considering MailChimp. Most people I know used MailChimp as beginners because it’s free for your first 1000 subscribers. They’re still one of the most popular email marketing tools and are used by many large companies.
I use Tailwind to help me schedule for Pinterest. I design a whole bunch of pins once a week, and then use Tailwind to post on a schedule throughout the week. It allows me to publish content consistently to boost my SEO while using my time efficiently.
Like Tailwind, Later is making a world of difference for me because I can produce Instagram content efficiently, and then schedule posts throughout the week so that I still show up online consistently.
I love using quizzes to help my audience get comfortable with different topics. Interact helps me design quizzes that are fun and also informational. Definitely something to try if you’ve never used it before!
Looking for a simple design software? Try Canva, a free online design software with beautiful, easy-to-use templates. It’s great for social media templates, infographics, and print media. I really like how accessible it is to everyone, with or without a design background. Pay for premium access to assets or to print your designs.
On the other hand, if you want to up your design game, Adobe Creative Cloud is still the gold standard of professional design software. I personally use Lightroom (for photos), Photoshop and Illustrator (for marketing materials), XD for wireframes and sketches, and play around with everything else because…it’s so much fun!
Finally, Creative Market is a good place to find design assets (graphics, stock photos, website themes, etc.) if you don’t want to do it yourself. Think Etsy, but specifically for designers.
Admin & Management
I have recently made the switch to Dubsado and it has been a game-changer!
This platform consolidates my lead capture forms, client scheduling, branded proposals and contracts, and invoicing – and it’s streamlined my processes so I’m more efficient at work.
Dubsado has made the business side of my business so much more manageable and I recommend it to many of my clients!
Dubsado does have a bit of a learning curve, so if you’re just starting out and don’t have many clients or processes, I still stand behind the two tools I used previously – And.co for time-tracking, proposals, contracts, and invoicing; Acuity Scheduling for booking meetings and integrating intake questionnaire and payments.
I use Trello, an intuitive project management software, to organize and track all my projects visually. It’s also a brilliant way to collaborate with clients!
If you’re looking for a simple time-tracker, I love Toggl. They have a Pomodoro function, which is really helpful when I’m having trouble staying focused (plus I’m a fan of their company culture).
Books, Websites & Articles
I read a lot but want to make sure I’m listing the best resources here, partly because writing reviews, even short ones, is time-consuming. Keep checking back for more!
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
This book will help you understand the best ways to make your website easy for visitors to access and navigate. Steve explains how keeping things simple gives your customers a better website experience, which ultimately, will lead to better conversion rates. It’s a quick read, but so worth it! Find it on Amazon.com or Chapters-Indigo.
If you need copywriting guidance for your website (you probably do), please just check out Gill’s website. And then subscribe to her newsletter. Trust me on this one.
The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
You might be surprised that I have a work of fiction here, but the story Coelho tells is both beautiful and profoundly relevant to anyone who is trying to achieve a dream, even gets close enough to taste it, and then chickens out of realizing that dream. Buy on Amazon.com or Chapters-Indigo.
Think I might have missed something? Reach out if you want to know about specific tools I might use that I don’t mention here.