I often get asked what tools I used to start my side hustle business, so I recently sat down and looked through the tools I used when I was first getting started.
While some of them are probably well-known to you, there may be a few that you weren’t aware of that you can add to your own arsenal.
If you’re just getting started, these 12 tools will help increase your productivity and help you to run your business in the most efficient manner.
12 Side Hustle Business Tools
- Gmail: this is by far my largest tool for accessing emails. It's also where a lot of my contacts are stored too and because it syncs across all my Google accounts, it is definitely easier to access no matter what device I'm on.
- Mailchimp: this is my email list management tool and I've been using it since day one. No matter what you're doing, you'll need to maintain a list of contacts and have the ability to email them special deals or your newsletter. There are other options, such as Aweber and GetResponse, but I love the way Mailchimp is set up and how easy it is to use.
- Google Calendar: this is my go-to calendar and is the 'master' of all things that I need to schedule! If it isn't in my Google Calendar, then it ain't gonna happen! You need to get good at mastering your schedule and I love that Google Calendar allows you to have multiple calendars that are color-coded, so you can quickly see what is client work and what is private.
- Sunrise App: I'm completely in love with this app. So while it's another calendar app, it's not just a calendar. It syncs with several programmes, including my Google Calendar, Trello, Freedcamp, Todoist plus many more. This means that I can easily keep track of my own calendar plus to-do tasks and project tasks from Trello and Freedcamp. It's the ultimate in calendar management.
- Calendly: when I first started, I got a lot of requests to chat to people on Skype and with timezones to factor in, it get a little tricky. If you want to make life easier on yourself, use a tool like Calendly, which allows you to set times you're available (it also syncs with your Google Calendar and enters in your appointments) and then provides you with a unique URL that you can then send to clients. It will display your availability in their timezone. Brilliant and life-saving at the same time 🙂
- WordPress: I use the hosted version of WordPress for all my sites. It is by far the most robust and user-friendly website creation tool I've ever used. There are thousands of free themes and plugins that allow you to create a website that is unique to you and your brand. If you're not using WordPress, you're definitely missing out!
- Hostgator: this was the first hosting company I started with on their Baby Plan. For just $9.95 per month on a shared hosting plan, I got unlimited domains, making this a very cost-effective way to get up and running quickly. They offer more advanced packages, but this is a great place to start. Hostgator's online support and customer chat is awesome.
- Pretty Link: ever wondered how you can make all those affiliate links and other URL's look pretty? Enter Pretty Link, it allows you to turn your ugly URL's into links that make sense. I use them for all my affiliate links and when I'm promoting one of my books, because it looks better than providing a link that doesn't even look like it belongs to my brand, Outsourced Freelancing Success. Pretty Link is a WordPress plugin and the free version is all you'll need.
- CoSchedule: if you're going to be running a blog (and you are, right?) then you'll need a way to manage your blog posts and social media accounts. That's what CoSchedule does plus so much more. It's a great way to plan out your content for a 6 week period and allows you to schedule well in advance to your social media accounts. It has made my life that much easier to not only stay on top of regular blog posts but to also map out content and social media posts.
Graphics & Video
- Screencast-o-Matic: when I discovered this tool I couldn't contain my excitement! For just $15 per year, you get access to a pretty robust screen recording tool. Not only does Screencast-o-Matic record your screen, it records your audio and if you want to, it will record your face in a small box too. It is the best video tool for teaching and quickly sharing straight to YouTube and other platforms. Just get it!
- Canva: if you need to create images specifically for social media posts or ads, then this is the tool for you, particularly if you're a social media manager! Canva not only provides you with pre-built templates, but you can also upgrade to their pro version and keep all your branding all in the one place. It's great for creating quick images and a lot of the elements are free with pro elements costing just $1 per element.
- Dollar Photo Club: this is where I source all my images for the blog, for promotions and for my book covers. A subscription costs approx. $99 per year and gives you access to 10 new images each month and if you need to buy additional, they are just $1.
There you have it, that’s the list of tools I used to get started with my side hustle business. There are a lot more tools out there, and you can find over 100 in my book, “101+ Tools, Apps & Programs to Help You Run a Successful Freelancing Business” available on Amazon right now!
Need some help starting your own Side Hustle business? Not sure what skill or business you want to get started with? Join the Side Hustle 7-Day Challenge to find out!