If I asked you to name your most essential business tool, I would probably get a variety of different answers from everyone. I have a feeling there would be some constants, like:

  • Your phone
  • Your email
  • Your computer

Those are definitely important tools that I’m sure all of us use every day to one degree or another. But I want to tell you about three essential tools that I would bet most of you either haven’t heard of or don’t use.

My specialty is building things on the web, and these are three tools that I use every day. But don’t worry, these three tools are useful for anyone in any business.

Buffer is the first tool I want to tell you about, and it’s really cool. So what does it do that’s so awesome? Put simply, it lets you schedule out social media posts in advance. Connect it to your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account, and you’ll be able to schedule up to 10 posts in advance for FREE. Plus, you get some cool analytics info about your posts such as which post was most popular each day. For about $10 per month you can unlock some extra functionality (including the ability to schedule even more posts in advance). Linking back to your site via social media is a great way to help boost your search engine ranking, and being active on social media is a great way to keep your business in front of your customers. If you’re a busy business owner – and let’s face it, who isn’t – use Buffer to batch your social media posts together and have them automatically posted through the day or week. You’ll probably be surprised at how much time you save.

MailChimp is the second tool I want to make sure you know about. This is one you can combine with your website to help you collect names and email addresses of your customers or leads. You’ll be able to send up to 12,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers for FREE. Like with Buffer, there are some extra features you’ll get by upgrading to their $25 per month plan. But even the free version of this tool is fantastic for sending out all kinds of info to your customers or leads. You might want to let people know about a sale you’re having or a new service you’re offering. You can even segment your subscribers based upon different criteria. For instance, let’s say you’re a plumbing company that just so happens to do HVAC work as well (I can think of at least one…). You may have say 1,000 total customers, and maybe 500 of those are HVAC customers while the other 500 are plumbing customers. Here in Phoenix, it’s reasonably common for A/C units to fail going into the summer season after they’ve sat dormant the rest of the year. You could use MailChimp to send an email to your HVAC list segment when the weather starts warming up to remind them to get their A/C units checked out. Of course, that’s a pretty simplistic and specific example, but you get the idea. This tool opens up a lot of possibilities for pretty much any business.

Hotjar is the last tool I want to tell you about today. This is another one you’ll need to use in combination with your website. It has a few different features, but the main one I want to tell you about is the heatmap feature. Basically this is going to show you what parts of your website visitors are interacting with the most. Maybe you have a nice big “Contact Us” button on your site, but nobody’s really been contacting you. You might install this tool and find out that people are basically skipping over the button and instead clicking on a really cool picture you have on your site that links to your “About Us” page. You can use that information to either move the button or make the picture link to your “Contact Us” page instead. Of course, the end result here is to get more leads by having more people contact you. And you get this functionality for FREE. Like the other two tools, there is a paid upgrade for $29 per month that gets you some extra features.

Be sure to check out these essential tools and use them in your business. Of course, I’m always here if you need help.

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