Starting and running a business online implies taking care of a lot of different aspects. In this process, everyone wants to be able to save time and money. With the power that online business tools give you, the tasks at hand can be tackled in a professional manner.
Any job in the real world requires the use of tools and online businesses are no exception. Here are the top tools knowledge entrepreneurs need for their business:
Google Drive / OneDrive
Both can be used on their sites or on their apps, which offers great flexibility in terms of device choice. Whichever you choose will give you the opportunity to store, share and edit documents that are saved instantly.
This type of tool is necessary because it provides instant changes and automated backups. It also gives you the possibility to synchronize your devices and even access your files offline.
They both facilitate collaboration by giving users different levels of access to files which can be edited by more people at once.
This tool helps you store and access files from anywhere and any device. It is a good organizer and it helps boost productivity. You can scan documents, capture images, leave feedback and annotate directly on files. It's great for collaborative projects and it facilitates team management as well.
With Dropbox you have access to a lot of apps and templates that give you the chance to brainstorm, project plans, to set timelines and add action items.
If your course is online, you need to track every activity related to it and Google Analytics is by far your best option, especially if you have a website or blog to promote it.
This tool gives you an insight into your website audience by comparing and contrasting data related to specific campaigns (PPC, email, guest blogging, etc.) and showing which kind of content performs best.
GA offers you precious information about how long a visitor stayed on a page, how many pages have been visited and the bounce rate of your landing page. It also helps you keep track of new visitors and returning visitors.
This tool lets you generate more leads and revenue by helping you sell more products online. In addition, you can use it to boost traffic, clicks, and conversions. These features are important to support your marketing strategies, especially for PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns.
You can also use Google Ads as a keyword research tool to help you create better content for your learners and makes your courses more visible for potential buyers as they could find them easier.
Ahrefs / Moz / Buzzsumo
These tools help you with your SEO campaign and give you a glimpse of your competition online. When you choose to promote your business online you need to track the content that your audience likes and either of these tools allows you to track down relevant content pieces easily, without having to spend hours using Google search.
They also give you the chance to see what is being shared and where and this is really useful in terms of curating content pieces your audience likes.
Read more: 7 Tips on how to curate content for your online course
MailChimp / CampaignMonitor / ActiveCampaign
Everyone has and uses email on a daily basis. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: you need to build an audience for your online course. Email marketing is one of the best ways to promote your business.
Read more: 4 Tips on how to make cold emailing work for you
These tools help you automate your newsletter and find your most engaged contacts. Moreover, they help you create automated funnels that send content to your readers based on their interests.
Skype / Zoom
These and other communication and collaboration tools can be specifically used for video conferences, webinars or talking to anyone in the world (partners, learners, potential clients) to increase team collaboration and productivity.
These solutions are designed to bring people together more effectively in this digital age through file sharing, screen sharing, video, web, and audio conferencing. Both offer click-to-join conferences access on any device.
Invoicely / ZohoInvoice
These tools are free online invoicing software for creating invoices with multi-currency support for billing global clients.
The customizable invoice templates come in handy as well as the feature of drag-and-drop line items to organize the content of your invoices.
Mint / YNAB
They are easy to use apps for budgeting. Both provide a program that lets you know exactly where you are spending money.
Both software platforms allow you to link your accounts and helps you synchronize your entire financial status in one place. Any changes are automatically carried over to any device including iOS and Android.
Read more: How to budget for your online course business
Trello / Asana
Both are two cloud-based project management solutions that have a lot of features like workflow management, task assignment, document management. They also allow you to integrate other apps to further benefit your collaboration with your customers.
Both offer mobile apps that facilitate the accessibility of the project via Android and Apple devices.
CoSchedule / HubSpot
They both help you organize your marketing offers with the help of project management features and a dynamic marketing calendar. They allow you to manage and collaborate on active emails, landing pages, and blog projects.
With these tools you can improve your productivity by visualizing your entire strategy in one calendar and streamline your marketing process.
Hootsuite / Buffer / Later
Being present and visible online is essential as a management strategy. Doing this on more than one platform while maintaining coherence is difficult. These social media management tools help you manage all of your profiles and pages in one place helping you to plan ahead a clear campaign.
They help you create posts on social accounts, schedule them ahead of time and customize them to suit your audience on every platform. They even let you manage your visual content in one place giving you the possibility to store captions so that you can have a repository of captions and just connect them to an image.
Read more: 5 Tips to improve your social media photography
Canva / PicMonkey
A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. That's true for online business more than anywhere else. These tools help you create great visual designs to support your text content.
PicMonkey facilitates photo-editing using filter and overlays, whereas Canva is aimed more at producing graphics which can be suitable for social media and blogs, posters, infographics.
Both systems allow you to upload your own images, layer things, and alter their transparency which lets you create interesting textures and effects. Of course, they both have basic features that you can use to control brightness, contrast, saturation or even use pre-set filters.
Read more: Top 5 photo editing tools for online course creators
UpWork / Freelancer / Fiverr
These platforms help you find professionals who can help you with various parts of your course on a project-based scheme (outsourcing). You don't need to do everything alone. There are a lot of people with a variety of specializations and these sites allow you to outsource one-off jobs to freelancers.
By doing so you invest less for the best possible outcomes. It is time-efficient and cost-efficient providing you with a lot of possible freelancers to choose from.
Read more: Why you should consider outsourcing parts of your course creation
Evernote / Milanote
Note-taking is part of your life, no matter what you do or try to sell online. Any brilliant idea you have may just as well disappear in case you don't write it down immediately. Note-taking apps exist to prevent that.
The most famous example is probably Evernote. The app is designed for note-taking, organizing, task management, and archiving. Notes -- in the form of text, drawings, photographs or saved web content -- can be tagged, annotated, edited, searched, given attachments, and exported. It's really useful to capture your ideas.
Taking things a bit further, especially for creative professionals and designers of all kinds, Milanote is another great app, particularly useful at organizing ideas and projects into visual boards. The app's flexible drag and drop interface lets you arrange things in whatever way makes sense for your project, besides creating and storing various types of notes.
When selling knowledge you need a tool that has all the features to make your job easy. With the help of a learning management system, you can build your site, create engaging courses and sell them. Thus you can reach more people at a low cost. Moreover, you can market your course through e-commerce.
INDIE LMS helps you sell courses and track everything using analytics and reporting features. The materials you provide can be stored and instructors can better organize their content, data and learner audiences.
The platform provides automation that replaces rigorous and expensive manual work and helps instructors save time on their daily tasks. In addition, it is really flexible allowing instructors and learners to use it wherever they are and access it from all types of devices.
The Internet has a plethora of tools for planning your online business, marketing it, creating content and visuals, tracking your traffic, and anything and everything in between.
So don't hesitate to search and use them to ease your workload and focus more on the content you provide.