When you started working for yourself, you might not have thought about how much admin is involved in running your digital marketing business.
But help is at hand in the shape of online tools that can help you streamline your admin and get things done more efficiently.
Here are the tools every digital marketer needs now
A good email system
Having email as a digital marketer seems like a no-brainer. But the email provider you choose and the interface you use could help to make things easier. A good email system will allow you to set up rules and filters to deal with your emails efficiently and integrate with your task management system and calendar.
If you do a lot of client meetings or interviews as part of your job, then a good calendar is a must. A calendar programme that integrates with your email and online meeting options like Zoom or Calendly is helpful.
A task management system
Once you start building up your digital marketing business and develop a client roster, you’ll need a good way of keeping track of all the tasks you have to do. A task management system like Trello or Asana is a good way of doing this. You can set up your system however you want – separate boards for each client with to-dos on, a master to-do board with lists for each client or a progress board where each job moves through a system of lists like pending, to-do and done. With most systems, you can also add a due date for tasks to see how your schedule looks.
If you widen your business and start employing team members, you can also use your system to allocate work and keep track of their progress.
A time tracker
When you work for yourself, you need to know that you are making a good return on investment – that your hourly or package rate is reasonable for the amount of time you are spending. One of the easiest ways to do this is to invest In a time tracker like Toggl or RescueTime. A tracker can track your time manually or automatically after being downloaded onto your computer and generates reports on the amount of time each task takes and, if you add in an hourly rate, how much it has cost you.
Document signing and invoicing tools
Running a digital marketing business is great because it means you can work with clients anywhere in the country or even the world. That gives you a great range of clients but does mean they might not all be easily accessible to sign your contracts or get your invoice.
Of course, you can simply create a contract in a Word document or PDF and email it to your client. But that can be time-consuming for you – and them – especially if they have to print the document to sign and then scan and return it to you. Using a secure online document signing system is much easier. You can create templates for your contract and then create, send and sign through a secure system that automatically makes copies for each party.
It’s the same for invoicing. Using an online invoicing or accounting programme can help to reduce the time it takes you to create invoices and has the added benefit of having all your financial information in one place when it comes to checking your monthly or yearly income or for tax time.
Social media scheduling
When you are juggling social media posts for many clients as part of your digital marketing, then keeping on top of what you’ve posted where and how it is doing can get complicated. A social media scheduling tool keeps everything in one place. A tool like Buffer or SocialPilot also allows you to schedule social posts in advance, which helps to streamline your business as you can do all your posting at once.
An automation programme
Want to streamline things even more? Think about working with an automation app like Zapier or IFTTT. These allow you to set up automated actions between different tools, for example, setting up a card on your task management system based on an email you’ve received. While they can be a little time-consuming to set up at the beginning, you’ll save time on repetitive tasks in the long term.
Should you pay for tools for your business?
When you are starting out with your digital marketing business, you might not have a lot of money to spend on fancy tools. Luckily most tools and apps have a free version that you can start with or at the very least a free trial. Sometimes, the free version might serve you well for a while until you build up your client roster.
So there’s no reason not to try some of these time-saving tools for your business.