Alright, we have to be honest with you all.
Here’s what our remote studio looked like when we didn’t have these tools for organization and marketing:
- We dealt with burnout HARD.
- Our team was disorganized, which led to client frustrations and a lack of great client experience.
- We kept repeating the same darn things over, and over, and over again… wasting time with our team and clients
Without these small business tools, we were coasting on doing “well” in our business and marketing strategy but once we realized we wanted to reach the next level in our studio – especially for our clients, we sat down and did our research to find the BEST tools for small businesses.
Now we’ve got our go-to small business tools for organization and marketing, helping us…
- Keep our studio running smoothly with a remote team
- Set our clients up for success, because we’ve implemented these same systems in their marketing strategy
- And keeping everything efficient and effective
So now that we’ve tried and tested PLENTY of tools like:
- And more…
We’re rounding up our favorites for organization and marketing below.
Favorite Small Business Tools
We’ve tried and tested plenty of tools for small business owners, solopreneurs, and even big-name tools for larger corporations and companies. After testing these tools for organization and marketing, below is a round-up of our favorites broken into two categories we believe are essential to an efficient and effective content marketing strategy.
Organizational Tools for Small Businesses
Before switching to Samepage, we tried different project management tools like Asana, Trello, Click-Up, and regular documents and a communal calendar to share with the team.
It worked… for a bit, but the functions and capabilities of these project management tools either weren’t strong enough or were too confusing for what worked best for our team.
On our marketing side, we needed a tool that could:
- Have multiple documents that could be connected within one another for strategy planning
- Have a calendar option so we could visually see our marketing plan and calendar
- And have folders where we could directly upload creative materials and images
It was difficult to do that in Asana, Trello, or Click-Up in a way where our team could find everything in one place, while also keeping track of their tasks and responsibilities.
Samepage allows us to create our own marketing folder with all of those aspects in one place! We now do the same for our clients, mirroring our system with theirs to make sure their marketing systems are organized and we can find everything we need to stay on track.
Now in Samepage we have:
- Marketing calendars
- Launch events
- Folders for documents, photos, images, and embedded videos
- And we’re able to host team meetings and chats within the same system
Google Suite is perfect for small-business owners and their teams! We’ve set our Google Suite accounts up with the following:
- Personalized emails
- Support & general help email accounts
- The back-up storage system for processes and collateral
- Larger templates that can’t be created within Samepage
The way we’ve set up our Google Suite is by creating it as a ‘back-up’ storage system for everything we have in Samepage. Larger or more complex files stay in our Google Suite account and is then linked to our Samepage.
By combining the two systems for organization, we’ve been able to:
- Keep our mind at ease, in case anything were to happen to either platform
- Give our team members autonomy and the opportunity to take on more responsibility and initiative with clients
- Create a sense of transparency within the business for everyone involved
Clockify is a time-tracking tool that can be used for small, medium, or large teams – or even individuals! I much prefer this system to Toggl because I find it makes it much easier to track and read data.
The free version of Clockify is sufficient enough for our team of 3! We’ve added specific categories based on the responsibilities of our team members. You can see a breakdown below:
Anything labeled [TQP] is internal work for our studio. This means if we’re working ON/IN the business or our educational/coaching side, we track those hours. We only take a limited number of 1:1 clients each month for various brand messaging and content marketing projects, and this is tracked under Client Work.
Some of our categories are as follows:
- [TQP] Admin
- [TQP] Operations
- [TQP] TCS Membership
- [TQP] RYV Retreat
- [TQP] UYV Mastermind
- Client Work
With these categories for time tracking we stay organized, can see where things are taking too much time, which then tells us we need to automate or streamline our marketing processes further.
Marketing Tools for Small Businesses
These are small business tools we use specifically for marketing! We divide our marketing into 3 separate systems:
In each part of our marketing systems, we refer back to these tools to make it easier, automated, and less stress for our team. This has also translated to a great client experience that our VIPiñas (clients) rave about because it walked them through the entire process!
Dubsado is a Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool that handles everything related to having a great client experience! We use Dubsado for:
- Automated email workflows
- And onboarding/off-boarding
All of these processes are templated and automated in Dubsado to make it easier and faster. Our goal is to create a seamless process for our clients, so each touchpoint between us and them is branded and guides them through the next step.
We’ve created branded materials to make sure our ‘top-of-mind’ marketing is always present. Some ways we’ve done this is:
- Using our brand voice in our template emails, proposals, and onboarding/off-boarding materials
- Adding in branded elements like our logo, brand colors, and signature across documents
Clients have shared that each document they’ve received through us has been beautifully branded and made their experience that much enjoyable – which resulted in repeat customers!
We love planning. We love organizing. And we definitely love being able to have a marketing plan that is easy to follow!
The best way we know how to do that is by creating an editorial calendar!
Our editorial calendar template breaks down an entire content marketing strategy so you can plan, schedule, and post your content to stay consistent, without burning out.
Some areas that are important for us to include for the team are:
- Posting schedule
- Promotional plan for services and products
- Content themes and categories
- SEO Keywords
- And more
This tool keeps us organized because our entire team can access the document, check certain posts, and then schedule them out. We’ve also implemented this with our clients for Instagram and content management, so they know what to expect and can adjust the strategy accordingly.
*We currently don’t offer our Editorial Calendar templates anymore
Kajabi with Thrivecart Integration
Alright, so we may have cheated because we said top 3 tools for organization and marketing for small businesses – and this is a two in one tool!
Our marketing strategy is MUCH more streamlined by integrating both of these tools and making it an automated process for our clients! Because we are a remote team and studio, we work with an international group of clients.
Taxes change in each country, especially within the European Union, and we wanted to make the purchasing process easier, branded, and less annoying. For us, it made sense to invest in Thrivecart and connect it to Kajabi so that there’s a branded marketing element through it all!
Each element of our marketing is branded (as it should be!) to make sure our clients feel like working with us on any aspect is an experience.
Wrap-up & Conclusion
As a small business, we keep our toolbox minimal and simple! Especially for marketing, we make sure each step and process is easy to follow and streamlined. We understand what it’s like to try and take control of everything but need to manage it all, later.
We’ve tried and tested all of these tools and have integrated it into our marketing systems and helped our clients do the same! Here’s what one of our clients mentioned after working with us to streamline her content marketing strategy.
To wrap-up, here are the top 3 tools for small businesses for organization and marketing!
- Google Suite
- Editorial Calendar
- Kajabi integration with Thrivecart
What tools do you use in your small business for organization and marketing?
*Ready to take your marketing up a notch? Let’s see how we can work together! Schedule a 30min free call here to discuss!
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