* this post contains affiliate links
I do all of the marketing for Natural Plus and over the years, I have learned a lot about what works, what doesn’t, and websites/tools that make my life much simpler and easier—saving me so much time and money!
I am no expert on marketing, but over the last 6 years, I have focused my efforts on digital marketing and have cut our marketing budget (mostly print) by almost 70%. Ask any business owner, and they will tell you, the key to marketing is CONSISTENCY, but advertising is EXPENSIVE. As a small business owner, I find it much easier (and more affordable) to be consistent with digital marketing (mostly social media and email marketing) than with any other kind of marketing. And the internet is the way of our world these days!
I wanted to share some of these digital marketing tools with you, if you’re trying to start or run your business, these may help you develop some systems that will make your life easier (and hopefully save you time and money!)
I use Cinchshare for social media sharing. I have tried several other social media scheduling apps over the years and for me, cinchshare is the most affordable and easiest to use. I used it so much when I sold Tupperware (facebook parties were so simple and easy!), and I came back to it for Natural Plus’s social media a few months ago. It costs $10 a month (or $100/year) and for me is totally worth that money. It saves all of my posts, so I can reshare them, and I also put them in folders to stay organized, to make resharing even easier. I am all about not creating new content ALL of the time, so these features are major time savers!
I use cinchshare to schedule all of my facebook posts for our business. This saves me so much time and keeps things consistent without having to be married to the facebook app. I haven’t used the feature much, but you can also schedule instagram posts.
Want to try it out? Use my referral link to get a 37 day trial: https://www.cinchshare.com?a=k8i6c
I use Canva for designing graphics for our blog, website, and email. I am not a graphic designer, but I design everything you see for Natural Plus using the paid version Canva Pro ($120/year). It makes designing super simple. I have created several templates in canva, so I am not spending hours each week recreating the wheel, I just change the words and pic each week. This also helps me keep a consistent look. With the paid version of canva, you can create a brand board of your logo, colors for your business, so that the designs you are creating are “on brand” every time. Consistency is key, so keeping consistent with colors, fonts, and overall “look” of your business is important.
Canva has allowed me to do fun features on our facebook page like the “this or that Thursday” that has been very popular! I create all of these images in canva using a template and then use cinchshare to schedule them 3 months at time.
I use squarespace for both Natural Plus’s website, and for this blog. In 2016, I hired my friend Joa, (she’s pretty much the best!) to help me switch over to Squarespace, and I have never looked back. It’s $216/year for our business plan. It’s worth every penny in my opinion. I came from Wordpress, and I struggled making my sites and blogs look professional without knowing some code. With Squarespace, I am able to change, edit, design and add to our website at any time. It has made blogging consistently at Natural Plus a breeze, and now I’m even playing around with the commerce feature (coming soon!) I HIGHLY recommend Squarespace if you are a business owner who wants to be able to manipulate your website on your own.
I JUST switched over to Flodesk for our email marketing, but so far I am impressed!
For many years, I avoided email marketing. I started with mailchimp, but was so scared to dive in. I dabbled here and there, spent some money on hiring people to set me up with templates, and opt in forms, still not ever knowing what I was doing and feeling VERY overwhelmed and under confident. One of those people I hired set me up with Activecampaign, which I clunked through for 2 years, and paid a pretty penny for it (almost $600/year). I was almost to the contact limit and my subscription was going to increase to almost $1500/year, so I decided to take a leap and try flodesk (right now you can sign up for $19/month, FOREVER, unlimited subscribers). I did some price shopping and you will not find this ANYWHERE, most all other providers you have to pay more for the more subscribers you have.
The beautiful templates make is so easy to create opt in forms, emails, and sequences, and the emails are actually something I want to open! I am very excited to continue to play with flodesk. The other part, I’m in the “insiders group” on facebook, where you can ask questions and the people that started flodesk actually get back to you. The information and support in this group is like no other.
I can’t believe how easy it was to create the opt in forms and share them on our website (and everywhere else!)
If you want to get in on this offer, here’s a referral link for 50% off your subscription (FOREVER)
I used google docs/sheets to save me time and keep me organized. I have a master google sheet of all of the blog posts I’ve ever written and shared on our Natural Plus website. This makes it so much easier to reshare content I’ve already written (I usually copy and paste right into cinchshare and schedule!)
I also use google sheets to help me plan content for emails, social media and marketing. I like that they are accessible from anywhere at any time.
Those are a few of the tools I use on the daily to help me save time and money (so much money) in our business.
If you’re interested in learning more about any of these tools, or need help getting started, I would love to chat!