It happened in 2011! That’s when I made the commitment to do more work virtually so I could spend less time on the road and more time at home. It was much easier than I thought this was, and rest assured, I have zero natural “tech” talent. But I found with the right tools and training that I was far more capable than I thought I was. As a result, I have been able to transition to doing more work online, and increased my productivity and capabilities.
Today, more and more of us are doing work online, and this recent crisis has put pressure on all of us to innovate and do more virtually. Here are my Top 5 Online Business Tools for making it all happen.
1. LinkedIn is where people are networking, recruiting, and doing business. When I meet people who are not on LinkedIn, I gasp! I have made more professional connections and generated more leads from LinkedIn than any other social media platform. In fact, more than all the other platforms combined. It is uniquely different from other social media platforms because there is a level of trust that exists within this platform that doesn’t exist in others. If you treat LinkedIn like the networking and business space that it is, and actively engage with others it can be a tremendous resource for you, your work, and organization. Even with the free version.
2. Slack is a collaboration hub where teams can work on projects, communicate, and share resources. It cuts back on emails and Whatsapp messages, and allows you to organize your communications by any category, such as team or project. It has simplified work flow, improved communication, increased transparency and productivity for all of my teams that use it.
3. Zoom is just one of many meeting platforms, but it is my preferred platform. Of course, from time to time I use Skype, WebEx, or GoTo, and I’ve just recently learned about Whereby and MS Teams. But to date, Zoom is my favorite because it is easy for all users, has great features, and easily integrates it into other platforms.
4. Canva is a design tool that allows even the most graphically challenged (like me) to create beautiful documents and images for social media and websites. It is easy to use on your desktop/laptop and even easier as an app on your tablet or phone, with its drag and drop features. It also allows you to upload your own images. It’s so easy you can start designing great stuff today.
5. Calendly is an online appointment scheduling tool that has made my life so much easier, I can’t even remember what life was like before it. No more Doodle polls or emails back and forth to find a time, Calendly does it for you. It integrates with your calendar and Zoom so that appointments are automatically put on your calendar and appointees receive a Zoom link for your meeting. It’s magic (or technology).
There are an unlimited number of tools available, and new ones released every day so be open to learning and using new online tools. It has made it so much easier to do business and work virtually. If you are using online tools that help you do business, please share.