The following tools are a must if you are on your way to digital dominance. Some are apps and some are tools you can simply use from online. Most are free but some require a small fee or subscription to use the service. Some of them I use quite frequently, while others I am looking forward to trying, including Spy Fu and Holler.

  1. Namecheckr.com (www.namecheckr.com): Use this to check and see if a name is available before you get attached to it. See if the domain is available and all the social media platforms that would be associated with it.

  2. Trademarkia (http://www.trademarkia.com/): Find out if the name or slogan you’ve chosen has been trademarked.

  3. Wayback Machine (http://archive.org/web/ ): Ever wondered what an online brand might have looked liked in it’s early stages? Hey everyone starts somewhere. Type in a url and be taken back in time to what a website looked like in it’s earlier years.

  4. Wordswag (app): For those who aren’t Photoshop savvy and want to create some appealing text graphics for their brand.

  5. Uber Conference (https://www.uberconference.com/): Got a meeting of the minds? How about a free conference call?

  6. Haro (https://www.helpareporter.com): Is a mailing list where small businesses can come across some pretty cool opportunities, like a list of upcoming events that need items for their gift bags.

  7. When to Gram (app): An app that does just what it says. Tells you the perfect times to post on IG according to your account.

  8. Color Story (app): Bright, bold, color photos is what you can get with these amazing filters curated by the girls over at @abeautifulmess

  9. Planoly (app): Plan your instagram, one post at a time. Set up a schedule, see what posts will look like next to each other before they go live, and create those cool photo grids that span your feed with the click of a button. This is a paid app where you can do a 14 day free trial.

  10. Mail Chimp (http://mailchimp.com/): Email marketing is still an essential part to any business. MC allows the first 2000 subbies free, after that you may choose from paid subscription plans.

  11. Zen Desk (https://www.zendesk.com/): Keep your customers happy and complaints to a minimum with subscription service. Zen Desk offers a wide range of customer service tools for businesses at any stage.

  12. AdRoll (https://www.adroll.com/product/web-retargeting): Re-target customers who may have abandoned their cart on your site through strategically placed ads during their internet browsing.

  13. Google Calendar: Success does not come without planning and defining your goal. Utilize this free calendar to set your goals for your business each week.

  14. Moz (https://moz.com/): This site teaches and offers services in the all important realm of SEO (search engine optimization). Find out how to rank your site better in the search results and stay ahead of the competition.

  15. Pinterest (www.pinterest.com): If you aren’t already using it then you should! Pinterest can be a very valuable tool when it comes to reaching your audience. Post the right pin and get it reposted and seen many times over. (I think Pinterest deserves an expanded post. Stay tuned).

  16. Bit.ly (https://bitly.com/): Use Bit.ly to shorten long urls. It also tracks the amount of traffic the link has received. This definitely comes in handy when posting direct links to your product or service.

  17. Scanner Pro (app): I use this so much! I will actually wip this out and use it to scan things instead of using my printer.

  18. Repost (app): Get the paid version only about $2 bucks if I can remember and you can repost videos you find on Instagram easily and without a watermark.

  19. Lumyer (app): Create cool effects on your images including sparkles, light burst and raining confetti. 

  20. Giant Square (app): Make a statement with an image on your IG page using this app. It takes a regular image and splits it into smaller squares to form one big image on your page.

  21. Video Saver (app): repost videos from pages like You Tube and Facebook with this handy app

  22. KiraKira (app)create sparkle effects on your videos.

  23. PicsArt (app): Edit photos with a variety of effects similar to Photoshop, including removing backgrounds and other cool photo effects.

  24. VHS Cam (app): Create those fun old school VHS video effects with this app.

  25. Symbol Keyboard (app): use those cool little black symbols you see people using on instagram. (ie: little black crosses, crowns, hearts, etc

  26. Flipagram (app): Put together photos and music to create some quick video clips.

  27. Polaroid FX (app): Add the Polaroid effect to your photos.

  28. Gif Upload (app): Converts gifs into MP4s for use on Instagram.

  29. Giphy (app): extensive collection of animated gifs for use on your social media.

  30. PHHHoto (app): Use this app to create cool glitch and cinemagraph like effects on your photos.

written and illustrated by Tiffani Nicole