MailChimp

https://mailchimp.com

Why We Use It:

We use MailChimp for so many aspects of our own business and for our clients. There are so many different email marketing platforms to choose from out there like Constant Contact, Drip, etc. So you may wonder, “Why MailChimp?”

-It has a BEAUTIFUL interface that allows for the best user experience. With it’s drag and drop functionality and intuitive layout, MailChimp is so easy a monkey could do it. 😉

-It integrates seamlessly with nearly every platform, allowing for easy setup for all types of automation – drip campaigns, abandon carts, opt-in thank yous, etc.

-And here’s the kicker – MailChimp now allows for you to connect your domain, so you can create landing pages with unique and easy to remember urls instead of having a random url automatically generated for you that’s comprised of random letters and numbers you’ll never remember.

How We Use It:

Email Marketing, Drip Campaigns, Landing Page Creation, Paid Advertising Creation

$:Free or Upgraded options

Sprout Social

https://sproutsocial.com/

Why We Use It:

Juggling your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and managing all the content for them on a daily basis can be overwhelming. Sure there are free scheduling tools out there like Hootsuite or Buffer, but social media management is so much more than just scheduling content. This is where Sprout Social comes in.

-Sprout is a powerful and all-in-one social management tool. It’s user-friendly interface makes scheduling content and creating reports as simple as clicking a button.

-What makes Sprout the ultimate social tool is that it’s always learning. It gathers data about your audience every time they engage with you, which helps you to optimize your accounts on a daily basis.  Sprout’s ability to learn is invaluable because being able to show up in your audience’s feed at the exact time they are online is the marketing dream.

-It’s ALL about the DATA! Sprout’s custom reporting features allow you to see valuable insights about your audience, the types of posts that resonate them and more – making it so that you can intelligently and strategically foster deep, meaningful relationships with your followers, while continuing to build your community.

How We Use It:

Social Media Scheduling, Analytics, Curated Content, Social Listening and Bots

$: Pricing Varies

Asana

https://asana.com/

Why We Use It:

When you’re managing multiple clients, projects and employees, how do you keep everything organized? Project Management is the single most important part of any service based business.  Over the last year, we bounced around on a few different platforms.  We tried just using a tracking sheet in Google Docs that we shared with our whole team.  Then, we “upgraded” to using a platform called Wrike, which integrated with our Gmail and Hubstaff time-tracking system, but for some reason that didn’t stick either. Finally, we came across Asana, and it was as if the heavens opened up and we could hear the angels singing.

-Asana is all online, but if you’re not keen on having to login every day via your web browser, Asana integrates with a free third-party app called Fluid, which turns any online platform into a desktop app. It’s also available for download in the App store on your phone, so no matter where you are, you’ve got access to your projects and to-dos.

-It’s team functionality is what we love the most about it. This free platform allows us to see how much time is spent on each project and to know where everyone is with their tasks within a project.

-The user experience of any project management app is downright the most important part.  And Asana killed it! The UX couldn’t be any easier to navigate and the way they allow you to organize and manage all your projects and tasks is efficient and easy to understand. 5 stars!

How We Use It:

Tracking clients projects and staying on track for all deadlines internally and externally.

$: Free or Upgraded options

Wave

https://www.waveapps.com/

Why We Use It:

I know what you’re thinking, “Why would anyone use anything other than Quickbooks to manage their company invoicing, etc.”  When Libre Freelancing had just started out, it was important to us to spend our money wisely and really invest in the programs that would take us to the next level.  When stumbled across Wave, we’ll tell you, it gave Quickbooks a run for it’s money. Oh I did I mention it was FREE.

-Wave is easy to use and has every feature you’d want in an accounting app – even in the free version.

-You could create branded invoices for all your clients and seamlessly integrate with your business bank account for quick deposits.

-It was extremely helpful during tax season because with the bank integration we were able to see all our bank transactions as well as our invoices in one general ledger, making it easy to categorize certain expenses and revenue.  What other FREE platform has this feature!!!

How We Use It:

Invoicing and Accounting

$: Free or Upgraded options

Canva

https://www.canva.com/

Why We Use It:

As a digital marketing agency, we use the full gamut of Adobe products.  However, not everyone is 1. literate in those applications or 2. has the money to invest in those products. Canva is an incredible and affordable alternative.

-We recommend this platform for our consulting clients, so that they can easily create the content, graphics, etc they need for their campaigns. We even have an account of our own for our interns to use for that very reason as well.

-Canva is already setup to support the formats required of any social platform out there.  You no longer have to google, “what size is an Instagram image.”  Canva just does it for you – allowing you to just pick a template and create your own post using a simple drag and drop feature. Can’t get any easier than that!

How We Use It:

Social Media Graphics, Flyer Graphics, Website Graphics

$: Free or Upgraded options

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