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Lately we have been getting a lot of questions about what programs/apps/products we use to run our business. The short answer is: A lot.

We have always kept our doors open to new and potentially innovated products that will help us grow and streamline our business practices as a marketing agency. Some products were not successful in doing what their sales teams promised others were instant hits.

It is worth mentioning that for the products that didn’t work for us weren’t bad or ill created, but rather we were likely not the best fit for  the product.

All of that said, here are the best products we found in 2017 that have become essential to run our marketing agency.

The 35 Business Tools We Use to Run Our Real Estate Marketing Agency

Airstory (Blog Creation)

Writing blog posts as a team, or even hiring a professional writer to do it on our behalf was a really messy endeavor with dozens of documents being emailed back and forth, and too many edits to count. Airstory gives us an online platform to collaborate and cleanly write and manage posts. We can invite whomever, whenever, and assign permissions based on what needs to be done. It’s an easy fast solution to participant writing projects.

Amplifr (SM Management)

Amplifr is a powerful social media scheduling and analytics service for companies, digital agencies and media projects that gives central control through their interface over creation, release, scheduling, and management. Spend a weekend creating a whole month’s worth of SM content and schedule releases for the rest of the month. Track, measure, and tweak along the way with their analytics tool.

Beacon (Lead Magnets)

Beacon is the simplest program we have found to create effective lead magnets and ebooks. When we want to run a promotion, we jump on Beacon and insert our copy, and images, fill out our design guidelines, and viola! Instant, ready to go lead magnet that is integratable into our site!

Billy (Accounting)

We hire an accountant to manage our books and submit for taxes every year. But now, it’s only once a year, saving us a ton of money. Billy is an accounting program that keeps everything in good standing 11 months out of the year so that we know exactly where we stand when we submit for the tax man.

Book Like A Boss (CRM, Appointments)

Book Like A Boss is our go to app for having our clients automatically book billable time with us. If you are a freelancer or coach, or run an appointment based business, then this is the ultimate platform to funnel your clients into a system that represents your best professional side and cuts down on wasted time usually spend trying to figure out which times are best for both sides.

Call Page (Customer Management)

 Nearly instant call backs for our clients. When we have existing clients and prospective clients that have questions they want to talk to us immediately. Call back helps us organize who wants a call from us, what they want, and even starts the process on our behalf.

Cloud App (Workflow Management)

CloudApp lets you capture and embed video, GIFs, screencasts and marked up images throughout business workflows (e.g. software development, design, customer success, support, sales, marketing). This is essential when we are building out tutorials, helpful “How to” videos, and general funny office GIFs. It’s a fun and simple program to use with its own storage capacity so we don’t have to use our space to maintain great videos.  

ConvertFOX (CRM)

ConvertFox supersizes our customer relationships by giving use every major communication tool available. From live chat capability and email management to priority event tracking and conditional auto-responders. Convertfox shaves hours of work off our day so we can focus on creating and maintaining effective customer relationship rather than errant ones.

CrankWheel (Live & Recorded Demos)

Crankwheel is a platform that allows us to create and maintain online demonstrations for our customers. This has been essential in saving us time and money on “How to” guides as it relates to our F.A.Q.’s

Customer Guru (Survey Planning, Communication)

Customer Guru gives our business information that helps us predict future growth and value through effective and informative surveys.  Customer Guru allows for ‘smart’ automatic follow-ups and provides us with surveys with a super simple layout, which allows for higher conversions. Information is key, and with Customer Guru we have been able to extract a ton of good pieces of information that helps us make decisions. Customer Guru also automatically generates reports so that we can analyze survey data quickly.

Dry Run (Project Planning)

There are a lot of questions when you are planning a marketing campaign, mostly surrounding how much money is being spent and whether that money is being spent wisely. DryRun is a platform what allows users to model out large scale financial projects, like a marketing campaign, to see where cashflow is coming from and where the potential pitfalls will be.

Epicbeat (Market Research)

If you are ever looking to quickly grow your company, then Epicbeat can help in a big way. Epicbeat gives you insight and a breakdown of your industry’s biggest impact players, and those you have major social followings. See what they are posting, how your clients interact with those postings, and best of all, how to get your product pushed by these major market influencers.

Fieldbook (Project Management, Spreadsheets)

If you have used online spreadsheets in the past that multiple users are getting into, then you know that it can get real messy, real fast. And, maybe even worse, they take FOREVER, to formulate and organize. Fieldbook lets us create a custom list-tracking database, forms, and management templates in a super simple way. And it doesn’t take months or cost us thousands in custom app development fees. Super useful for the spreadsheet heavy businesses out there.

Find That Lead (Lead Generation)

Find That Lead generates thousands of leads for us every month. Every company has a different method for getting new clients, but at some point cold emails and calls are going to come. Find That Lead helps use skip the truly uninterested and gets us access to the “most likely not going to want to kill us for calling” clients and even has delivered warm leads!

Invanto (Membership Building Platform)

For our customers that depend on membership services and products, Invanto gives us a quick and simple platform to build entire business that rely on users and customers to pay an annual or monthly membership fee. While we haven’t launched our own membership based products (but we have some coming soon!), our client’s love the look, feel, and ease of Invanto’s platform.

Ispionage (Market Research)

ISpionage reveals what other companies are doing to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert more sales. Ispionage will look at your competitor’s keywords, ad copy, landing pages, and “User Journey” to help you build effective PPC strategy and campaign structure. Your competitors have already spent a ridiculous amount of money making their campaigns work for them, so Ispionage takes hassle, headache, and expense of figuring out what they already know about your industry.

Linklay (Visual Sales)

Linklay is great for companies that are selling physical products and services. They allow you to take an image, tag specific items within the image, and sell them directly to your customers. Visual selling is essential for interior design firms, and product collections and require some form of product placement and pairing.

Missing Lettr (SM Management)

Missinglettr creates social media campaigns that are designed to drive traffic to your blog. Every time we publish a post, Missinglettr immediately goes into overdrive and formulates social media posts that contain quotes, hashtags, images, and other great recommendations! The best part is MissingLettr allows us to schedule re posts for an entire year into the future.

Omnify (CRM Scheduling)

Omnify is an all-in-one cloud-based scheduling and business management software.

This is a great platform if you have clients that are consultants, coaches, or trainers. Omnify gives them the tools they need to set up an online service store, take bookings, and collect payments all from one personalized dashboard, which makes our job extremely easy when tracking and producing repeatable growth campaigns.

pCloud (File Storage)

pCloud is like dropbox, or drive or any number of file storage companies out there, but we prefer to use them because they are cheaper than the others, allows easy integrated management from a laptop, desktop, or phone, and they are young and hungry, like us J

PixelMe (Marketing)

PixelMe is a URL shortener and retargeting pixel that turns each link you share into a powerful retargeting machine. With PixelMe, you can capture and retarget your customers from Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Google so you can run optimized ads and share content with your audience. If people are interacting with our posts (including this one J) we want to know about it. PixelMe makes sure we capture all of that information so we can make better decisions.

Plutio (CRM)

Plutio was designed specifically for freelancers with the goal of replacing thousands of dollars worth of other tools, and it’s done that well. We started as a freelancer agency, and the program has scaled well as we have grown. Plutio lets you customize your workflow and organize your projects just the way you like. You’ll also have tasks automatically sorted by due date, with info on who’s doing what and how close they are to being done. (Never receive a passive-aggressive Slack check-in again!) Plutio is desktop and mobile app friendly so you can run your business from anywhere, making it easy to stay on top of all your projects.

Popalink (Marketing Management)

Poplink is a tool that gives us the ability to add Call To Action (CTA) pop-ups to the links you share. Meaning, every link, article, or blog post that we share on social media turns into a lead magnet for our, and our client’s websites, blogs, or products! This is the definition of working smarter, not harder.

PromoRepublic (SM Management)

PromoRepublic makes our social media marketing simple by making post suggestions, giving us options with handcrafted templates, and images. There is even a nifty auto-posting feature. If you do your own blog posting this cuts down on the time spent per article and streamlines the marketing process after the article has been written.  A great service that helps drive loads of organic traffic with minimal effort.

Publicfast (PR/Marketing)

We like to promote, market, and hustle our own campaigns but sometimes we need a little help. So we crowdsource highly influential people in our space (and our clients) and let them do what they do best, hustle on our behalf. We create the campaigns, and then turn it over to our influencers who get paid for driving traffic. Win-Win-Win.

Reveal (SM Advertising Management)

Reveal is a tool that lets you set rules and goals for your social media campaigns and then manages ad performances for you. Reveal’s rule constructor lets you create highly custom automation rules from a full list of metrics and various actions. Using this rule constructor, Reveal takes over and manages ads for you based off of the rules you’ve set. Start/pause campaigns, increase/decrease bids and budget, all automatically.

Sales Flare (Sales CRM)

Salesflare frees our sales team from hours that would normally be spent inputting data so we can focus on maximizing sales. Sales Flare integrates into our email client, and feeds our standard database and CRM, so that we can manage workflows and clients directly from our email screens. Time saver x1000.

SE Ranking (Online Marketing/Advertising)

SE Ranking is an all-in-one cloud-based software dedicated to offering every SEO tool professionals, website owners, and digital agencies need. This is our go to platform when we are running campaigns for us and certainly when we are running them for clients. Information is gold, and SE Ranking helps us get straight to the information we need to decide which routes to take for marketing.

Slideshop (Presentations)

If we are making a presentation or slide show, we are using Slideshop to do it. Slideshop gives us access to over 16,000 creative and effective presentation deck templates for PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides! Among this insane sized library of templates, there are tons of categories like business plans, charts, roadmaps, illustrations, which makes getting started quick and easy. We even Whitelabel our presentations to stay on brand for customers and clients. This literally added a whole product line that we never thought about exploring.

Social Insider (Facebook Analytics)

We advertise on Facebook a lot. Social Insider gives us Facebook Insights to all of our competitors. It lets us look at how our competition is interacting with their customers, what they like, and what they don’t like. Anything to cut down on time wasted and money not well spent.

 

Sparkchart (CRM, Survey, Research)

Spark Chart helps you create beautiful surveys, analyze results, and share reports. While there are many survey platforms out there, Spark Chart’s analytical back end is what separates them from their competitors. Surveys are only as good as the information you can extract and track.

Startups.co (Education)

Startup.co is a behemoth library full of start-up advice, education, and community guided information. This is easily on of the most valuable assets for quickly getting on the same playing field as your bigger, more veteran competition. From understanding the fundamentals of picking the right market to creating effective sales routines, Startup.co has your back.

Stencil (Images)

Every great image we have ever used not of our own creation came from Stencil. Every image and be customized in nearly every manner possible directly through their site or their chrome extension, which we use all the time. The beset feature is the sizing formatter, which allows use to save template sizes that we can later apply to any image we want. So for blogs, SM posts, or email insertions can all be down outside of Photoshop and in less than 30 seconds. Life Saver!

Viral Loops (Referral Marketing)

We get a lot of business from referrals, like a lot. And our whole system is built using Viral loops. They’ve made it easy for us to build and maintain referral leads, and helps us pay out incentives for those that give us a referral. It the system that guides our Triple Win Plateform.

Whatagraph (Visual Marketing Reports)

Whatagraph looks at our marketing information and then creates a visual report. This is a very simple tool, but is a must in the marketing world. This saved us several hours per week now that we don’t have to export our numbers into Excel and create visuals.

Interested in getting a more in-depth look at these products?

Check our blog for detailed posts about each product as well as comprehensive comparisons between competing products. 

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