Review: The Top Apps We Use To Run Our Business
Managing an accounting practice or firm (as you already know) can be challenging. Which is why I wanted to outline the top applications we use to help us manage our team, process, and product at Jetpack Workflow.
What is it? Followup.cc is a simple “reminder” system to help you follow-up with contacts. Simply place the timeframe in which you want to follow-up (example firstname.lastname@example.org) in the BCC of the email, and in the timeframe (example, 3 days), the email will shoot to the top of your inbox.
How do we use it? We commonly use followup.cc to track follow ups that occur within the day. Meaning, if I need to bump something to “3pm”, I’ll type “email@example.com” into the BCC. Then at 3pm, it shoots straight to the top of my inbox. You can also batch together emails towards the end of the day. Anything you need to answer before you leave the office, be sure to put “firstname.lastname@example.org” and you’ll have a list of “must read” emails at the end of the day.
What is it? Unbounce is a landing page software that makes it quick and easy to set up a specific page without any coding experience. If you’re spending money on marketing (online or offline), it would be a great idea to drive them to a specific page on your website, such as yourfirm.com/taxseasonspecial
How do we use it? We use Unbounce for onboarding screens, design sketches (their design widget is amazing), as well as customized landing pages.
What is it? LeadPages is also a landing page software… at which point, you might ask: Why are you using two of the same type of software? Well, LeadPages is great to create quick, professional looking landing pages, as well as their innovative features around “leadboxes” and “leadlinks”.
How do we use it? This is my “go to” landing page software when we’re looking to create a page. If we need something specific, I’ll typically have to switch over to Unbounce, but if I’m ok with template designs (LeadPages is nowhere near as flexible as Unbounce, which can be a good and bad thing depending on your design skills 🙂 I would estimate 80% of our landing pages are LeadPages, the other 20% are either WordPress pages or Unbounce pages.
Google Apps (website)
What is it? Nothing too glamorous here … We use Google Apps for our calendars and email. I prefer Google Apps because the interface feels clean, and Google Apps integrate with more applications (like our scheduling software).
How do we use it? For emails, calendars, and a lot of folders, spreadsheets, and google docs .
Schedule Once (website)
What is it? Scheduling software. Schedule Once makes it easy to share a calendar with prospects and clients so they can book a time to connect.
How do we use it? Our scheduling software, used to book demos, free trial 1-1s, and ongoing support.
What is it? Screen capture and screen recording software.
How do we use it? Aside from google apps, this might be the #1 application I use. Snagit can be used for support answers, knowledge base videos, helping users with a new feature, as well as product sketches, product support, and marketing material. Snagit is my “go to” tool throughout the day!
What is it? The free version of Snagit.
How do we use it? For short (less than 2 minutes) videos, as well as screen captures where we don’t need to edit the image significantly. Jing is a free tool, and instead of uploading the files into an email or videos into a Youtube account, you can upload the content straight to Jing’s database and receive a sharable link. The only downside is that there’s a storage limit.
Skype recorder for Mac (website)
What is it? Record phone calls (mainly used for our Growing Your Firm Podcast Interviews).
How do we use it? For Growing Your Firm Podcast interviews, as well as case study calls.
What is it? Hosting for audio files
How do we use it? This is our go to hosting platform for our podcast. Much like a website, a podcast needs a hosting environment. Libsyn is the industry standard, so we went with it!
WordPress // wp engine (wordpress hosting)*
What is it? WordPress is a “CMS” (Content management system) that can be used to build websites. WP Engine is a hosting company that keeps the website live.
How do we use it? WordPress powers roughly 20% of All the Websites in the World. So there’s a huge ecosystem of designers and developers (and templates!). But because WordPress is so open and available, it’s been criticized for not being as secure as other website management systems. Which is where WPEngine steps in… they manage all the additional security aspects of hosting that “low-end” providers simply cannot do. Whereas many hosting companies charge $5.00/mo, WPEnging charges $29/mo, but they manage the security and scaling of your website. If you never want to worry about your website being down, or vulnerable to attacks, WPEngine is a great fit.
What is it? Premium video hosting
How do we use it? We use Wistia when we need a higher end video quality and don’t want to use Youtube videos (which then link out to other videos). Wistia is a beautiful, self-contained video management platform. We typically use Wistia for on boarding videos, as well as sales videos.
Flat Icons (website)
What is it? Free icons, designs, and images
How do we use it? We LOVE flat designs for proposals, PDFs, and powerpoint/slidedeck creation. Instantly make your powerpoint or proposal more professional with a few, well-placed icons!
What is it? Webinar software
How do we use it? To run our webinars. We’ve tried other providers, mostly cheaper ones, but stuck with GoToWebinar because it’s simple, is consistent, and is user-friendly.
What is it? Screen sharing software
How do we use it? Join.me is our “go to” software for demos and free trial reviews and account setups. We love how they create a custom link for your account, and doesn’t require the recipient to download anything.
Pipedrive CRM (website)
What is it? Simple, visual CRM
How do we use it? We use it to track prospects and free trials. Each person becomes a contact, where we can keep notes, as well as define the next action we need to do. We were originally using Jetpack Workflow, but found that we were juggling so many demo accounts it would be best to have a separate CRM (plus, CRM’s are built for sales and prospect management, Jetpack is focused on recurring client management). Regardless, we love Pipedrive (which means a zapier integration may or may not be in the roadmap now 🙂
What is it? Mailchimp and active campaign provide email management software.
How do we use it? Our current email/newsletter management software is Mailchimp, however, it becomes very limited when you want to start segmenting lists. Active Campaign is a very robust platform (even includes a CRM that we’ll test out), and provides more automation and segment. Mailchimp is a great software for a single newsletter you need to manage, but quickly falls apart if you have multiple lists, each having multiple sources of how people opt into them. Because of this, we’re in the process of converting how list over to active campaign (the cost ends up being the same!). If I were starting from scratch, I would just start with an active campaign. It’s the same price, and you get more flexibility as you grow.
What is it? Team chat application
How do we use it? We have team members are over the world, so we frequently have a Hipchat room open so that team members can access each other quickly.
What applications do you think we should test out? Comment below and let us know!
Know a colleague that might enjoy this list? Feel free to share it!