The most important weapon in our arsenal is Wave. This accounting platform is elegant, easy to use, and downright awesome. They also do credit card processing and payroll, which really makes it a one-stop-shop. It’s geared specifically towards small and micro businesses, so the functionality that you’ll find is highly specialized to cater to this market (which is perfect for us).
Our favorite feature is the customizable estimates and invoices functionality. You can brand your quotes so that they look completely professional and easily turn them into invoices when the client is ready to buy. The one-click online payment feature is a nice addition because it lets you get paid quickly without having to worry about PCI compliance on your end – they handle everything! And for businesses like ours that have mostly recurring revenue booked, you can create automatically recurring invoices that take the pain out of monthly or quarterly invoicing.
We use Weebly for our website. Its WYSIWYG editor is intuitive and the options available to customize your website are plentiful without being overwhelming. Our website needs aren’t particularly sophisticated, so Weebly is perfect for us. We also host our blog on Weebly as part of our site, and the blog functionality included meets our content needs. You can easily design blog posts to include images, page breaks, and more without having any HTML knowledge and the SEO fields allow you to set a title tag and meta description to improve the visibility of your posts.
Social Media Management
We rely on Sprout Social to manage our social media accounts as well as our clients’ social media accounts. When you run a digital marketing company that offers social media management, you have to be on top of your social game! That means that you need a robust tool that will allow you to queue and schedule posts/tweets, put together accurate reporting, respond to brand mentions and messages, and manage followers. Sprout lets us easily switch between clients to do that seamlessly.
Now don’t get us wrong, Sprout Social isn’t cheap, but this is one of those cases where you really do get what you pay for so it’s absolutely worth it for us. When we were in the market for a social media tool, we did extensive research and looked at Meet Edgar, CoSchedule, Buffer, HootSuite, and many others. Sprout Social’s offerings impressed us and convinced us to sign up… and we haven’t looked back since!
To keep track of client deliverables and deadlines, we use Podio. With a small team we don’t need anything too robust, so Podio’s free interface works well for us. You can clone projects that you’re repeating (which is essential for a business like ours that provides recurring monthly services) and it’ll email you when tasks are coming due – all pretty standard stuff.
Between One Drive and Dropbox we’re able to easily share files internally and externally with clients to collaborate more effectively. Whether it’s creating sharable links or giving edit access, these handy tools let us deliver content to our clients and make necessary changes before pushing it live on our blog or theirs.
Note: We were not paid, or otherwise compensated/incentivized to provide these reviews. We are not employed by or receiving any special treatment from any of these companies in exchange for our warm fuzzy mentions. Honest to goodness, we just really like these guys and gals!
Have any recommendations for what you think we should use next? Let us know in the comments. Thanks!
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!