Ever since smart phones became a thing, the app world took off with it. There’s an app for practically everything and I’ll be the first to say I’m an absolute sucker for them! I’m the person who purposely buys a phone with more storage so I can download ALL. OF. THE. APPS. Haha!
So, with that in mind, I figured I would share with you some of the apps I most commonly reach for when managing my Instagram and my online business.
Prefer to watch the video version of this blog post? Check out my YouTube Video!
Since we all know and love Instagram, let’s start there!
When it comes to streamlining, saving time and automation, you 100% need an Instagram scheduler! A quality scheduler will allow you to upload, plan and preview weeks or months of content then let you sit back and relax as it does it’s job, posting for you, day after day.
The app I personally trust to handle my instagram scheduling is Later.
I love that they have both a mobile app and a desktop app so no matter where I am or what’s convenient at the time, I have access to my content and can adjust my schedule as necessary.
Later allows you to schedule posts, stories and carousels. They offer auto publishing, a hashtag generation tool, and even allow you to schedule your first comment! (Perfect for if your audience is in another time zone or you’re heading on a digital detox vacation!)
Additionally you get access to detailed insights and analytics so you can really tweak your posting strategy for even better results.
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Instagram Editing Apps
High quality photos and a consistent aesthetic can really help your account stand out from everyone else on Instagram, but it’s not always the easiest to achieve. However, with the help of an Instagram editing app you can quickly and easily up-level your photos and create a style that’s unique to you.
You’ve probably heard of Lightroom before as it’s what most pro photographers use to edit their photos. However just because it’s for the pros, doesn’t mean the average joe like you and I can’t use it! They’ve got a paid desktop app as well as a free mobile app.
Lightroom allows you to not only edit the basics like exposure, shadows, and contrast, but lets you dig a lot deeper by targeting specific color ranges, adding light leaks, remove anything from the background and more, allowing you to create a unique and personalized edit! Additionally, you can purchase an upload presets from your favorite creators and add them to Lightroom to drastically change your photo in just a click of a button!
* Related Content: How to Edit Instagram Photos! Easy Lightroom Tutorial
Snapseed is a bit different (which I like!). It’s got a variety of prebuilt presets you can apply to your photos in just one click, or you can utilize their massive tool section. With tools like, ‘perspective’, ‘selective editing’, ‘lens blurs’ and even ‘double exposures’ you can create really unique images with minimal effort.
I highly suggest taking some time to explore Snapseed; it may just lead you to a brand new style of editing!
Instagram Story Apps
Oh Instagram stories.. how many hours have I wasted watching you??
Instagram stories are the most popular feature within Instagram making them super important to use for your business. However, they have to be done right!
To be honest with you, I personally prefer creating stories directly in Instagram. With a variety of text styles, markers, gifs and engagement generating features like polls and question boxes, I don’t typically need or use additional apps. However, a few I have tried and enjoyed are Over, Unfold and Adobe Spark Post.
These three apps all have robust template databases where you can pick and choose the exact styles that speak to you, then tweak them just a bit to make them fit your brand.
Additionally, and what I think is the best part about these apps, is being able to add animation. You can control the motion of text, images and graphics to really bring your stories to life which otherwise would take quite a bit of effort and video editing to create a similar end result.
Animation is eye-catching, makes your stories look professional and keeps the attention of your audience. Win, win, win!
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Instagram Link in Bio Apps
Since you only get one link per Instagram profile it’s super important to take full advantage of it. To do that I highly suggest adding a link in bio app to multiply the amount of locations you link to and ensure your audience gets access to all your best stuff!
To do this, I use Taplink. Taplink will drastically improve how your audience interacts with your content website and other external links. Not only does it build you a “linktree” style page (which is another perfectly suitable app to use!) It also allows you to collect payment, list a number of frequently asked questions, display videos and more!
Taplink offers a free plan that is perfect for most users, however I do think the premium plan is more than worth it with all its additional features! If you’d like to try it out, use the link below for seven free days.
Now let’s move on to the apps I use in the rest of my business..
Pinterest is an incredible platform for all business owners despite it having a rep for being a place to find new recipes or interior design inspiration. It’s actually a massive search engine that can send significant traffic to your website everyday if used right.
To make sure my Pinterest presence is on-point and I’m getting consistent traffic, I swear by Tailwind. Tailwind allows me to easily schedule a month of daily pins from my phone or desktop in just a few minutes. It also gives me a variety of insights about my account, my pin performance and what areas I need to focus on improving.
Tailwind is a super complex tool (in a good way!) that’s totally worth adding to your business if you’re looking for more targeted traffic on autopilot!
For the last few months I’ve been working hard to grow my YouTube account (we’re at 31,000 subscribers at the time of posting this!) and to do that I require a few different tools to make sure I’m staying on top of my content creation and account performance.
For performance tracking I use TubeBuddy. It allows me to see how many views each video has, shows me new comments that need replies, gives me easily accessible links to use for sharing and keeps track of channel milestones such as certain subscriber or view counts.
* Related Post: How to Get More Views on Youtube!
For recording videos I love Sufler.Pro. It’s a teleprompter app that displays your script as scrolling text. This allows me to plan out my video ahead of time, stay on track and get my recording done in as little takes as possible.
I’ve downloaded a ton of teleprompter apps and this is the only one that allows you to manage the speed size and orientation of the text for free!
Business Organization Apps
Running an online business comes with a lot of moving parts and processes to stay on top of so I use a few different apps to keep me organized and avoid overwhelm.
The first life-saver on this list is, Lastpass. With hundreds of different logins for all the services, software and websites I’m a part of, I couldn’t possibly remember all of my passwords and I don’t want to revert to the lazy method of using the same password for every account (you know you’ve done it!)
I have experienced a few instances of hacking in the last 6 or 7 years of working online so it’s super important to me to have an app that can create a secure password and remember it for me so I’m protected and never have to think about it!
Lastpass also connects to my desktop. So whether I’m on my laptop or phone, my passwords are all easily accessible.
Next is Slack. I use Slack for managing and communicating with my team. Slack allows us to have a variety of different ‘channels’ that streamline our conversations and keep new ideas and topics separate so communication is always clear and documented.
Previously I have tried both Trello and Airtable for similar purposes, but Slack has come out on top as the ideal team management tool for me.
I truly can’t believe these apps are free! They allow my entire team to work on projects simultaneously, they’re accessible even when you don’t have an internet connection and can hold up to 15 GB of data for free so you don’t have to keep everything on your computer, taking up valuable space.
* Related Content: 50 Tools Every Entrepreneur Needs!
And finally, when it comes to conducting business online, one of the most important things is a reliable payment processor. There are plenty to choose from and funny enough, I actually use three of them! I use PayPal, Stripe and Square.
While PayPal Isn’t my favorite (that’s a story for another day!) a large part of my audience uses and prefers it so I continue to offer it. On top of that I use Stripe, which is my preferred method as well as Square for a side business that I have.
I was forced to add Square into the mix because the business is in the health niche and Stripe does not allow payments to be processed for that industry! Make sure you look into this for your business.
So there you have it, 20+ apps I use to help streamline and automate my business and social media, but of course there are so many more. If you’re interested in seeing a part two to this blog where I share more of the apps I use in my marketing like countdown timers, page builders and lead generation tools let me know in the comments below!
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