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Most Recommended Tools

These are my favorite tools of the trade for savvy small business people and entrepreneurs. Some of them have free or very low-cost versions; if they cost more than a few bucks a month, you can be sure that I’m only recommending them because they’re really *that good.*

I only recommend tools that I’ve used myself or have used with clients. If you take one of my courses, or become a coaching client, I will undoubtedly recommend one or more of these tools to help you create and streamline your marketing – and I’ll help you learn how to use them, too!

I’m an affiliate of some of these tools, which means if you choose to use them after clicking through on my link, there’s a chance that somewhere down the line I’ll get a buck or two, maybe enough for a yummy-flavored iced tea (my drink of choice). I recommend them not because of those payments, but because I really think they’re the best in their class for small business owners like you.

Stephanie Recommends

ConvertKit Email Marketing Platform​

ConvertKit is my favorite email marketing platform, and I use it myself for everything on StephanieSchwab.com. Not only is it simple to use, but the fact that I can create email capture forms and sales pages all by myself - without a designer - gives value well beyond a traditional email platform. The free version works for up to 500 subscribers, so perfect for anyone just starting out. The only thing you don’t get in the free version is automation, which you’ll want when you get a little bit bigger, and then plans start at $29/month.

MailChimp Email Marketing Platform

MailChimp is a pretty great email marketing platform, and until I started using ConvertKit it was my #1 - for years. The best thing about it is that it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers, so you can use it for quite a while without paying a cent. Lots of small businesses use MailChimp, so you may already have tried it or have an account...in which case, keep using it! My main gripe about MailChimp, as compared to ConvertKit, is that their user interface feels a bit less intuitive, and it’ll take a few more clicks to get stuff done. Other than that….it’s a really cool platform.

Teachable Course and Product Platform

Teachable is where all of my courses live. It was built to be an online learning management system (LMS), so it’s a really great place to house the content you want to deliver as a course. However, my students and coaching clients have also used it as a place where they house paid products such as ebooks, templates, and other types of materials. Teachable has an integrated payment system which makes it really easy to set up a product or course for sale and use their payment system to collect.

BrandMentions

We use BrandMentions in my marketing agency to stay on top of what people are saying about our clients online. BrandMentions searches the entire internet for a hashtag or brand to find relevant information and insights about it. We also get real-time notifications when a new post about a brand is published - so we can respond to good posts and perform our customer service magic on bad ones. I use it for my personal brand (and this site) to monitor hashtags that are relevant to my business, and to see if I get mentioned anywhere on social media.

PayPal.me Payments Platform

There are a number of ways to get paid for your services: coaching, workshops, speaking, or other activities, without sending an invoice. I really like PayPal.me for ease-of-use and professionalism. Using PayPal.me, you can set up a customized link (like paypal.me/stephanies7), and send it out to anyone you want to collect money from. The amount will go into your PayPal account and you can transfer it to your bank account or spend it from there. If you want to get a little fancier, you can also use PayPal to create and an invoice with details of whatever you’re charging for.

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