Let’s be real- starting and growing a business is tough. It takes a ton of time and effort to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality. Luckily, there are a lot of tools out there to massively simplify and streamline your workflow. From communicating with customers to taking care of accounting, these fantastic resources are everything you need to go from feeling overwhelmed to confidently leading your business to success.
Social proof, or the influence that the actions and attitudes of the people around us have on our own behavior, is a huge part of successful selling online. Where a physical business has natural forms of showing its popularity, online businesses need to work to create the space. Think of it like this: a busy restaurant with a line out the door automatically catches your attention. But how will you stand out online? Fomo, Yotpo, and Disqus are three answers. Fomo makes displays key customer behaviors (like purchases, signups, and conversions) in real-time on your website. Users browsing the site will see their peers interacting with your site, and will be more likely to jump on the bandwagon. It’s really simple to build custom messages and tailor your content by geographic area. Fomo offers plans ranging in cost from $39-199 per month.
Yotpo helps you collect and showcase customer reviews across your site. You can augment your reviews with slick visuals and build custom loyalty and referral programs. One other functionality included is the ability to craft ads around your reviews for Facebook, Instagram, and Google. Yotpo offers both a free and a premium option so you can scale accordingly for your business.
Finally, Disqus is a free tool for adding a comment section to your site. Encourage discussion between your visitors. Disqus also offers audience insights so you can get a sense of how your followers interact with your site. If blog content is a large part of your marketing strategy, a comment section can be a great way to build up engagement and a sense of community.
These social proof tools all work to humanize your brand by giving potential customers a sense of the community and passion that already exists around your products. Think about your communication needs and the ways that customers already engage with your business, and build up a social proof plan around those ideas.
Messaging and Communication
Part of the beauty of online selling is the ability to consistently connect and communicate with your audience. As you build repeat business, and go through the fulfillment process, it’s important to maintain clear, concise, and entertaining messaging. Of course, this can be overwhelming to not only provide messaging, but to keep it constantly running.
To get around this, you can automate a lot of your messages. These tools let you create powerful messaging, then set it and forget it:
Beepsend is a tool that allows your business to send and receive text messages. For entrepreneurs selling services like coaching, SMS is a great tool for quickly connecting directly with customers.
MailChimp and ActiveCampaign are two tools for email automation that massively streamline the ways your business connects with its clientele. Both tools allow you to build stylish emails, craft powerful automations, and track the results with advanced analytics. So which is better for your business?
MailChimp is best known for its simplicity. The email builder is easy-to-use and capable of producing beautiful results in minutes. While ActiveCampaign is also user-friendly, it generally appeals to slightly more advanced users. The functionality is a little more extensive, with the ability to set send time-based on the timezone of the recipient and other more advanced features. Both tools range in cost depending on the feature set you choose, and you can see a full breakdown for MailChimp here and ActiveCampaign here.
Organize, process, and fulfill orders from all the most popular marketplaces and shopping carts using the top shipping carriers. With Selz, you only need one tool to streamline your fulfillment process: Shippo.
The Shippo integration lets you generate, buy, and print shipping labels, automatically syncing new orders and sending email notifications to customers. You can also purchase insurance for your packages and create return shipping labels. Learn how to connect your Selz account to Shippo here.
As a small business, it’s vital to keep the numbers straight. The more you sell, the more complex the process can be. Hiring an accountant can be costly, though, and, with these powerful integrations, we make it unnecessary.
Xero, Quickbooks, and FreshBooks massively streamline your accounting. While each tool is strong in its own right, in general, Xero offers the most options for customization while Freshbooks is the most simple. Quickbooks falls in the middle.
Customer Relationship Management
Repeat customers are the lifeblood of any business, but building those relationships takes work. Luckily, there are tools to automate and streamline this process, too. From lead tracking to communication, Insightly and Salesforce integrate seamlessly with Selz for a powerful sales funnel. Both tools feature free trials and multiple subscription tiers so you can test them out and get a sense of what works best for your needs. Learn more about CRM’s and how they relate to your business here.
These are just a handful of the integrations available. Selz uses Zapier to connect to a huge range of online tools. With just a few clicks, you can automate massive chunks of your workflow. Basically, Zapier enables apps and services that might not otherwise work together, to communicate and integrate seamlessly. Learn about more of the applications that Selz integrates with here.
Ready to start streamlining your work processes? Try a couple free trials, and see what helps your workflow. Do you have favorite tool that you integrate with your Selz store? Let us know in the comments!