Tailor Brands is a suite of branding & design tools powered by machine learning for non-technical users founded in 2014.[Read more…] about Tailor Brands Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives
Business, Productivity & Marketing Software Reviews
Evaluating different software options? Here's my list of various business, productivity & marketing software reviews.
There are tons of free options for graphic design on the web. I love using everything from Fiverr to Canva to Stencil to NameCheap to Tailor Brands. But when it comes to website or blog logo design – or really anything related to graphic design that makes your blog stand out – you’ll need expertise (or an algorithm).[Read more…] about 99designs Review: Using 99designs For Blog Logo Design
There are thousands of incredible marketing tools on the Internet. Which marketing tools make sense for small local business owners?[Read more…] about 11+ Best Marketing Tools for Small Local Business Owners
SEMRush is a suite of digital marketing software covering organic search (SEO), paid search (PPC), social media, and more. The company has been around for more than 11 years, and is a mainstay among many marketing agencies & consultants.
I’ve been and off & on user of SEMRush for more than 7 years. While I’m a current subscriber of Ahrefs, one of their semi-direct competitors, I’ve recently reactivated my subscription due to volatility and massive changes among marketing data vendors.[Read more…] about SEMRush Pros and Cons + Use Cases
Choosing the best free logo maker for your project is a frustrating process fraught with email signups, bad ideas, and wasted time. It’s tough to make a simple comparison because there is no such thing as an absolute “best free logo maker.” There is only the logo maker that is right for you considering all the tradeoffs with your time, needs, and goals.[Read more…] about What’s The Best Free Logo Maker For Your Project?
MailChimp has been one of the fastest growing email marketing providers* for years now. They’ve built an huge base of customers ranging from tiny personal accounts to some of the most prestigious enterprise brands in the world.
*in 2019, they added a ton of functionality, including postcards & remarketing. They’d argue that they are a marketing platform…but email is at their core IMO.
That said – they aren’t the best fit for everyone and have some disadvantages along with strong advantages. This MailChimp review will break down what I’ve found to be pros that I especially appreciate for myself and my clients along with the cons that MailChimp hasn’t improved on over the past 9 years.
One side note – I live in Atlanta, GA. I work downtown and think of myself as an Atlantan. MailChimp is one of Atlanta’s best corporate citizens and one of our best technology companies. They’ve made our city “better, weirder, and more human.” I have a lot of hometown bias that I’ll try to set aside (but to fellow Atlantans – just go start using MailChimp – it’s pretty much your civic duty like buying Coca-Cola over Pepsi).
Let’s dive into this MailChimp review![Read more…] about MailChimp Email Marketing Review w/ Pros & Cons
I’ve been running a business for more than 10 years now. The last 9+ years, I’ve been using FreshBooks for invoicing and bookkeeping. It’s also one the companies on my Resources page that readers ask me most about. I thought I’d convert those emails into a full FreshBooks review for reference – because here’s the thing.
I’ve had 3 bosses at 3 different companies tell me variations of the same idiom. “If it feels tedious, you’re doing it wrong.” Or, “if you’re working hard, you are using the wrong tool.” Or, “if you’re working hard, you’re probably ignoring what’s important.”
Boring stuff like invoicing and bookkeeping aren’t technically part of marketing or improving your or your client’s website. But it does compete for your time and attention. It’s also an easy-time suck.
By 2012, I had been running a freelance marketing & web design business for several years. I was spending way too much time trying to keep costs down while also looking professional and legit. I was using PayPal’s free invoice feature and Google Sheets. It was quite a mess. So I started looking a resource for bookkeeping, invoicing, and a bit of accounting.
I started using FreshBooks. I’ve never used QuickBooks or compared QuickBooks vs. FreshBooks. It seemed feature overkill (and $$$) at the time. But I haven’t left FreshBooks even as business has grown and my career has changed.
BTW – I evaluated it by signing up for a free plan and clicking around. Check out FreshBooks’ free trial & plans here.
I don’t use FreshBooks for anything super-complicated. I use it to:
- Create and send invoices to clients and advertising partners and track their accounts.
- Track and manage expenses.
- Basic accounting (aka looking at P&L sheets & Schedule C documentation).
- Simplify communication with my accountant.
For a while, I kept using the old FreshBooks Classic. But now I’ve fully migrated to the new FreshBooks platform.
So here’s my FreshBooks review with pros & cons. It’s not for everyone, but it’s also not meant to be either.[Read more…] about FreshBooks Review: Pros & Cons of Using FreshBooks for Accounting
Stencil is a web-based graphic design tool built for anyone trying to quickly create digital design assets (aka social media & website images) with few to no graphic design skills.
I’ve been a Stencil customer for years – back from when they first launched as Share As Image. I got a lifetime plan from a re-brand promotion years ago.
Every “featured image” that you see on this website was made with Stencil. I’m a big fan…but I’ve also been a user for a long enough time to see & get frustrated with a few built-in limitations.
Here’s an overview of Stencil along with some pros, cons, ideal use cases, and direct alternative tools.[Read more…] about Stencil App Review: Pros & Cons of Using Stencil
RescueTime has been a part of my working life for more than 6 years, but I’ve never sat down to write a RescueTime review until just a few months ago.
A few months ago marked my first full year of self-employment. I took the time to re-evaluate all my tools and working processes to make sure I had a solid time balance among all my priorities.
After all – whether you are paid hourly or not, your time is your only non-renewable resource. If you are going to manage anything, it should be your time.
Since almost all my professional priorities are on a computer – time management software (ie, RescueTime) is a core part of that.
Here’s my RescueTime review with pros, cons, use cases and next steps based on my experience.[Read more…] about RescueTime Review: Using RescueTime for Time Management