*Updated July 12, 2022*
In the six years I've worked in social media marketing, I've tried dozens and dozens of programs to keep my social and my business running smoothly! And I often get questions about what software I use, so while this is a list of what I use and recommend, I must give this caveat: These are the things that work best for ME and how my brain works. I'll try to explain the why behind each recommendation.
And, of course, obligatory note: YES, some of these are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you buy anything from my links. But each and every site below features something I use on a weekly or daily basis in my business!
Let's start with what I use for the creative elements of social!
CANVA - The one and only program I use to make graphics of any kind. Is there even anything else? I mean, Photoshop sure, but I'm not a graphic designer and I never plan to be one so I'm going to stick with Canva 100%. There is a free version for the newly initiated, but the PRO version is absolutely worth it because you can upload all your branding into it and it will make your life so much easier, trust me.
CREATIVE MARKET - Guess what... most of those awesome social media graphics that I come up with? Lots of them are from template packages I buy off Creative Market. I get everything from icons to social graphic templates to fonts and so much more here. Gets you away from the free templates in Canva and allows you to get whole packs of graphics that fit your aesthetic!
NAPPY.CO - There's simply no excuse to lack diversity in your media these days! This is one of my fave free stock photo sites that features Black and brown people. Others to look at are CreateHer Stock, Disabled and Here, and WOC in Tech Chat.
How do you get all those social projects managed? Well, these are the top project managers, and I've used each of them at different times! This is one section where I am linking to things that aren't my personal favorites, but that's because it's alllll about how your brain works and what you're most comfortable with when it comes to project management tools. There's no "better" just "better for YOU." Not sure what'll work for you? They all have free versions, so try before you buy!
NOTION - After testing alllll the project managers below (and then some!) and always falling off from using them after some time, I've finally found the project management tool that makes my heart sing. Notion is IT for me! There is nothing more adaptable than this, nothing more flexy-bendy-can-make-it-anything-you-want. It's more than a place to just manage projects, it's a place to organize almost anything in your life. My entire life is becoming Notion-ized and I'm not mad about it. Best part is that their personal free plan is plenty for many, and upgrading to a paid account is only $5 a month. If you have a team, it's $10 per member per month.
TRELLO - My first project manager and still very near and dear to my heart! Trello is perfect for people who are not about that spreadsheet life. It allows you to really see and arrange things easily, great for more creative right brained folks.
ASANA - Not my personal fave but I've used it with my more corporate clients. Great for big teams where there are a lot of people and moving parts behind every project! But I gotta be honest, my heart belongs to...
CLICKUP - I'll go ahead and say, it's not for beginners. It takes a while to get the hang of how to set things up and find a flow that works for you and your business. But OMG it's super flexible and you can make it work for whatever way your brain works, but still allowing other people you share it with to view things in the way that makes sense for them! If you like board views like in Trello but your assistant is more of a list or table view person, you will both be happy in ClickUp.
AIRTABLE - Again, not a personal favorite of mine but enough of my fellow business owners rave about it that I can't leave it off. This is like spreadsheet heaven. It's Excel on 5 triple espressos. It's a love or hate thing.
Ok, you've got your posts ready to go because you organized everything with your project manager and now it's time to schedule your posts. Again, there is no one golden perfect social scheduler! It's all about what platforms you're focusing on and the features that are most important to you.
METRICOOL - Like a lot of data with your social media scheduler? I do too! That's part of the perks with Metricool, access to lots and lots of data that helps you make smart content decisions. Plus, I can schedule things for just about every platform. It's not the fanciest in terms of how it looks, but I'm paying for function over form here.
SKED SOCIAL - This one is not nearly as well known but it is PHENOMENAL for Instagram. Great visual planner, allows for carousel scheduling, as well as a great customizable link in bio. Also really wonderful if you need to collaborate on social posts. This Australian based biz also has great customer service, which is always a plus.
SENDIBLE - Also a little known scheduler, but one of my favorites. Great for if you post articles from an RSS feed, or need to post across different platforms with ease. Also allows you to respond to comments without getting sucked into the social platform.
ONLYPULT- Looking for user friendly and affordable? Onlypult is fab for anyone focusing on Instagram especially. Great link in bio builder and social listening features too. Doesn't try to do EVERYTHING, so it does what it does really well!
BUSINESS RUNNING THINGS
These are all the other programs I use to run my business!
BETTER PROPOSALS - This one is like my big sales secret, but I guess not such a secret anymore! If you have a high ticket service, this proposal program will blow your potential client's mind. Makes you look SO GOOD.
CONVERTKIT - This email marketing service provider is ideal for creatives like me who get a headache looking at the complicated setups in many other email services! It's very user friendly, and also provides simple landing pages and forms.
CLOSE - Serious about sales? That's a job for Close. This CRM is a must for business owners who want to sell smart. I recommend this for every client I do sales calls for, and they're always just as blown away by it as I am. If you have anyone else helping you with your pipeline (like a VA or team member), this will be a lifesaver for you AND help you close more leads than ever.
DOTCAL - I'm obsessed. I've used Acuity for 6 years and kicked it to the curb for DotCal! Why? Because this up-and-coming scheduler has got style. And when this is often the link my would-be clients see, I want it to represent me well. It's a straightforward system without lots of unnecessary bells and whistles, which makes it as user friendly as you can get. An additional perk: if you use the code betrulysocial50 you get 50% off the Pro plan for 6 months.
Aaaaand, there you have it! These things take my money on the monthly but they help me make all the money, so I'm not mad about it.
Let me know which of these you love or what you'll be trying next!