Your Online Survival Toolkit Essentials
Below is a curated list of my must-have tools, apps, and short cut websites I strongly recommend if you are an EDM producer who wants to grow your music brand online.
These tools can help to get you steps ahead of your competition if you take action and start to use them today.
I currently use or have used every single recommendation on this page.
Namecheap is the website I recommend for buying your URL domains.
When you get a website, you also need hosting. My favorite place for hosting is SiteGround. I’ve been stuck in a GoDaddy hosting plan and boy do I regret it. Don’t make the same mistake I made starting out by picking a terrible hosting company that slows down your load time like GoDaddy. Pick SiteGround to make sure your website loads in a snap!
I recommend WordPress.org because of so many different reasons. At the end of the day, there is no denying it’s the best software to build your website on. The more I’ve learned about websites, the more grateful I am that I picked the correct one from the start! Stay away from Wix and Squarespace. You have been warned!
A lot of people debate what is the best website platform is. I have two favorites. My first favorite is WordPress. While WordPress offers a few decent website themes for free, I do recommend getting a premium theme as it provided me so much more flexibility to make my website look and function the way I wanted it too. Theme Forest is an amazing website and offers so many themes to choose from. Be sure to read the reviews so you pick the right one for you!
I love Shopify. It’s such an easy way to set up a store and sell physical products. If you have physical products your fans would want from you, I recommend you create a Shopify store. They are pretty popular and after using the platform, I completely understand why. There are so many plugins you can get to add on to your site just like WordPress which makes it flexible to help you achieve whatever you want.
At some point, you are going to want the ability to have a third party shopping cart to use with your landing pages. This is especially true if you don’t want to have to bother with having a website. ThriveCart is the cheapest and best platform around. There’s no question in my book. Not only are they fantastic with customer service, but they also offer a lifetime license still which means you pay ONCE and you are grandfathered in forever without having to pay another dime ever again. This is RARE to find in a shopping cart these days so I highly recommend you jump on ThriveCart and this opportunity while it’s still available.
One way to build your email list is by using a landing page software. This tool allows you to quickly create a free offer for your fans and in return, you can collect their name and email address. With a landing page, you give your fan limited options in terms of what to do next and they either take the action or exit out of the page. A landing page typically has one main goal so your fan isn’t distracted by other tabs or links to increase your chance of them completing the offer you’ve provided them.
LeadPages are optimized for conversions aka getting those valuable names and emails. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of what your page should look like as all you really need to do is click and replace titles and images with your own that fit your brand and offer.
Another thing that makes LeadPages stand out above the rest is their ability to also use what they refer to as leadboxes. Leadboxes allow you to collect names and email addresses directly within your website wherever you want to put an offer. It could go in the middle of a post, in the sidebar, or at the top of your website. It’s really versatile and allows you to use custom images.
I’m always preaching about the importance of building an email list and this tool, along with ConvertKit, are my secret weapons!
There are so many different email service providers out there but I’ve found one that I absolutely love. The old email service provider I used was super frustrating because it would charge me for every single person who signed up for each of my email offers multiple times. Convertkit solved this problem for me because they realized I would have multiple offers and that each email should only count as one person instead of multiple people for multiple offers.
I also really love how simple and easy their platform is to use. I was able to jump right in and learn their software without having to hit up customer support. If you want to start your email marketing outright I can’t recommend ConvertKit enough.
Drip is my other favorite email service provider. Yes, I use two different ones! To say I’m obsessed is an understatement. Drip works really well with Shopify so if you have a Shopify store I highly recommend this platform. It tracks every single movement a customer makes on your website so you can see what they’ve been doing, how long it took for them to become a customer, and which emails they clicked and opened. What also makes Drip super powerful is the ease of use when creating custom audiences in Facebook for retargeting. They call themselves an ECRM (e-commerce customer relationship manager) and I couldn’t agree more!
Planable is extremely powerful because it allows you to plan your social media content across multiple platforms. I really love it for teams because you can set the setting to allow all posts to be approved before getting published. I also love it because I can schedule out posts for my private Facebook groups so if you have one of those, I highly recommend using Planable. It also scales easily as you can have multiple clients if you run an agency all with just one license.
My favorite tool to plan and manage Instagram is Planoly. The biggest problem I had before I started using Planoly was being able to visualize what my feed would look like prior to posting. I also wanted to be able to pre-type out my descriptions and pre-select my hashtags to go along with each post so that I wasn’t having to constantly make them up on the spot.
Recently, Instagram approved Planoly as one of their official Instagram Partner which means they are allowing Planoly to actually publish your posts automatically. This is a game changer for Instagram as you can now publish to your page even if you are sleeping.
Although they keep removing some of the features I loved from the free plan and moved them to the paid plan, they still have a decent amount of things you can do for free to quickly schedule out posts for three of your social media pages. Buffer is a great launching pad when you want to pre-plan your posts and I still continue to use it to this day.
I honestly don’t know how I lived my life without this tool for so long! This is a MUST! If you are a visual person you will fall in love with Trello. It allows you to organize your projects into different “boards” “cards” and “checklists” to help you create systems and stay organized. If you have anyone helping you with your business this makes your life ten times easier as well!
If you are looking to create courses then you’ll need a platform for your students to quickly and easily access your course material.The last thing you want to do is pick the wrong tool so it took me a pretty long time to decide on a teaching platform because I wanted to make sure I was building my business correctly. Teachable was a stand out platform in so many ways that I stopped my searching once I discovered it. They allow you to have full control of your website URL and make it so easy to create your courses. I could go on and on and bore you to death with all the features they have but I’ll spare you that for now! If you need a platform to sell courses on, go with Teachable.
Want to grow your audience quickly? Run a contest! Vyper makes it super easy to do and makes it fun for those who participate.
Want to get to know your audience even more? Create quizzes! Response Suite’s quizzes are another fast way to grow your audience as they allow people to self identify and figure out what’s the best fit for them when trying to decide what product to buy. You can use the results from your quizzes to pivot your brand or continue to go all-in on those with the highest results from your quizzes. Response Suite is a survey data nerds dream.
EDM World Magazine wouldn’t look as amazing as it does without this tool. This is a top tool if you want to do design! Get InDesign if you want to do your own in-house design work.
If you want to take a shot at learning design, I recommend Photoshop. Ever since I learned how to use it back in High School, I realized that I should leave as much design work up to a professional. It’s simply not my strong suit. If it is, then I recommend learning how to use this handy tool.
If you want to create quick and easy videos for your Instagram Stories or Snapchat I think you will love Spark. They have easy to use designs that will get you creating video content in no time.
Do you need to create or improve your visual brand? 99 designs are the perfect place for you if you are looking to work with a designer to create your own unique logo and brand identity.
Fiverr is the home for digital, creative and professional services, providing a one-stop shop for millions of digital services. It’s great because it allows you to stay on budget and get things done quickly. Among the services being sold on Fiverr are creative services, IT helpers, video professionals, writers and translators, sound editors, business consultants, web developers, and many more.
Keynote is great for me to quickly create slideshow presentations to teach information for my courses. It’s simple to use with enough bells and whistles to make your stuff look professional without having to try very hard.
The products I recommend are all things I’ve personally used to help me in building my business. A lot of these tools provide some sort of free option or free trial option for you to test them out and see if it’s a good fit for you before you spend any money. Some of the products I recommend on this website are affiliate links but it does not cost you anything extra to click through when you buy. The companies give me a small cut of their sales as a thank you to me for sending them a referral. I believe in transparency so I am disclosing this to you. My goal with the website is to help provide you with so much valuable information that you understand this is simply one way to earn an additional stream of income being a for-profit business. Please note that I have not been given any free products, services or anything else by these companies in exchange for mentioning them on the site. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.