When I launched First Page two years ago, I decided to use SquareSpace to build my business website. I chose SquareSpace because I heard it was really easy to use if you wanted to build a beautiful website on a limited budget. I had also plenty of experience with WordPress but zero with SquareSpace, so I wanted to be able to compare the two. Now that I’m two years into my business, I wish I would have started out with WordPress and I’m stuck with an expensive, annoying conundrum on how I transfer everything over from SquareSpace to WordPress.
I love Contently as a brand. They’ve been on the content marketing scene early doing really smart stuff. Not only do they have great content themselves with an industry-leading blog, but they also host cool events for content marketers. I had the privilege of attending one in San Francisco where Facebook talked about their content marketing strategy and we all went home with content marketing swag. I even hired Contently as a platform years ago for two different brands I’ve worked for as the Head of Content.
But, I do have a little secret. I’ve always thought it was a bit ridiculous that brands actually pay Contently’s high prices. And now, it’s not a platform I’d recommend to my First Page clients. Hear me out.
If you want to understand your customers and competitors better, and how to create the best service and content to reach them, a great way to do so is by utilizing “social listening.” There are dozens of sites and places online that your target audience members are having conversations. By tracking just the mentions of your brand in social, you’re still missing out on conversations that could be relevant to your brand and industry. Social listening tools will allow you to track keywords, phrases and brands that will provide insight you can leverage for your small business. With social listening, you can:
Find PR opportunities
Discover new places to reach potential customers
Uncover content ideas that will resonate
Figure out ways to beat your competitors
Let’s not fool ourselves. As online marketers, our job is not always a walk in the park — even if we do sometimes get to do it from home or far-off, remote places. Between answering many client and internal emails, keeping up on every-changing technology and strategies, working on that next one-of-a-kind campaign that hits it out of the park, or simply communicating internally across the coasts, we are always looking for a way to just...make life easier (and make us smarter)! Between the remote working team at First Page, we compiled our extensive industry experience and busted out a useful list of top-notch tools that we use daily or monthly and won’t break the bank. Check ‘em out!
Whether you’re a small boutique agency with a few clients or a large agency supporting big brands, your software suite means everything to your business. The best software for your marketing agency maximizes efficiency while juggling multiple clients, builds multiple marketing campaigns in one place, and communicates with all of your clients to ensure they all feel like they’re receiving the best service from you. As an owner of a boutique marketing agency, I’ve carefully chosen software that has saved me hours of time and a lot of dollars. Here are my recommendations for the best software for your marketing agency — all of which I have carefully vetted and use frequently myself:
Because it’s becoming increasingly easier to automate previously time-consuming and clunky business tasks, there’s never been a better time to be a small business owner than in 2016. Technology platforms provide hundreds of ways to run your business from the cloud, creating more efficient processes that save small business owners time and money. And really, what’s better than making more money and having more time? But, with so many options for tools, it can be hard to know what exactly to use for your business. I’ve gathered a list of the best small business tools — at the best price point for scrappy budgets: