Clever business tools
& services

I often get asked about the business tools I use to keep Studio Clvr running efficiently. Here’s a list of some of the tools I use in my business, and that I recommend to my clients. Note that this page includes affiliate links (marked with a *), so if you decide to use one of these services and click through from this page I may get a coffee out of it. I never recommend tools that I haven’t used and loved myself.

Need advice around what tools will make the most gains for your business?

Book a Clever Hour to discuss the ins and outs of what you’re trying to achieve, the available tools to get you there, and the tools that work best with each other to achieve your goals.

Analytics

Like many, I’ve become increasingly aware of privacy — not only around my own data, but the data of my clients’ too. I’ve decided that I don’t need to track the cookies of where you’ve come from or where you’re going after interacting with my website. I have no intention of following anyone around the internet with annoying ads. So I use fathom to ensure that I’m not collecting any data I don’t need, nor am I sharing your data with third parties like Google. It feels great for the world. And fathom’s goal-setting capabilities make the data easier to interpret and far more purposeful than Google Analytics any day.

Google Analytics - Open Web Analytics

For those still using Google Analytics, but feeling overwhelmed by the GA dashboard, Clicky is a nice alternative. There may be all sorts of legacy reasons why your tech stack can’t move away from Google Analytics, and if that’s the case, Clicky is a good filter. It looks super dated, but is quick to setup and doesn’t require much tech knowledge to get useful insights about your website. I’d still use fathom over Clicky if possible, but sometimes you just can’t move away from Google — I get it.

Copywriting

Logo - Product

This grammar tool will keep everything you write in ship shape. I have it overlaid on my email, socials and documents to keep me professional and to help pick up at least some of my bad speed typing errors before I hit send! The pro version includes a plagiarism checker which I find really useful to double check I’m writing truly original content.

Artifical intelligence has come a long way and Jasper is the most useful AI tool in my arsenal at the moment. I use it to help me write SEO descriptions and other short pieces of content from my longer articles. You still need to be able to write to use Jasper effectively, but it can be a time saver when it comes to repurposing long content.

Email marketing systems

Any business serious about automation needs a solid email marketing platform. I’ve used big CRMs (Keap, Hubspot) that combine email marketing as part of the big plan bundle, but have come back to using separate tools for my CRM and email marketing functions. The main benefit of ConvertKit for me is the ease of use of their automations, and at a great price compared to other providers for the tech benefits. I can also say that I have been really happy with ConvertKit both with the tools and their customer service. The whole experience has been excellent, and far superior to others I’ve tried (MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Drip). ConvertKit also integrates easily with all StudioClvr web builds and with cheaper email-free CRMs like ClickUp.

MailerLite - Email marketing

I’m often asked for advice on free or cheaper email marketing platforms to get folks started. MailerLite is my go-to reco at the cheaper end of the spectrum, so if budget is tight, start here and you can always upgrade to another service down the track. With any of these services, getting automations/sequences set up will deliver epic value to you business and will save you a ton of time, so in my opinion, it’s well worth paying for that functionality.

Logo - Product design

If you’re an Aussie business and want to keep your tools local when possible, Campaign Monitor is a great option. I’ve used them for years and still recommend Campaign Monitor for a lot of my clients. So why am I not currently using Campaign Monitor for Studio Clvr? My specific setup requirements made ConvertKit an easier integration — it’s all about what fits best with your tech stack.

 

Finance & Accounts

STRIPE*

Logo - Product

Stripe is my preferred online payment gateway. I use PayPal when I can’t use Stripe, but Stripe has lower fees and intergrates really easily with Xero, making account reconciliation a breeze.

XERO*

Xero - Logo

I use Xero for my accounts and love it. Way easier to use than MYOB, and with loads of business tools to make it easier to setup payments (direct debits and credit card setup with Stripe integration).

These guys have been doing my accounts for years and have annual plans to cover bookkeeping, quarterly BAS and annual returns for business (and personal too). They’re based in the Sydney Startup Hub (and in Melbourne too), and I can’t recommend Amit and the team highly enough.

Product - Product design

If you are a solo operator and don’t need payroll functionality, I highly recommend Rounded. Rounded is specifically designed to be simpler to use than the big players like Xero, with all of the cumbersome stuff stripped out so it’s perfect for the needs of sole traders. The team behind Rounded are amazing and their support is top notch.

Design - Logo

Yield is a Melbourne-based financial services firm with particular expertise in wealth management and retirement planning. James are the team are passionate about growth and build strong relationships with their clients to help make dreams a reality.

Hosting

We host all of our sites on Flywheel’s WordPress-optimised Australian servers. Premium hosting includes blazing-fast site speed, CDN, SSL certificates, hacker-free security, free staging (test) site, and best of all, 24/7 customer support from real humans. 

I was introduced to these guys this year and wish I’d known about them earlier! They make domain hosting really easy without any of the confusing tech stuff that clutters most domain host dashboards. Their DNS settings are easy to access and they also have some cool DNS integrations for builders like Squarespace, so you don’t have have to tinker with the DNS at all — they just automatically hook it all into your website. So great. And they’re Kiwi’s — love supporting our neighbours across the pond!

 

Images

Logo - Font

This is one of the best ‘unstocky’ stock libraries I’ve come across. Really nice images that are contemporary and on trend, with nothing staged or dated in their library. 

Logo - Product design

Unsplash has a brilliant collection of free to use (with attribution) images. They integrate easily with a lot of web builders too, making it easy to pull images onto your website for a blog etc.

 

Project management

Logo - Brand

I record literally everything. It sounds over the top, but I find that recording how much time I’m spending on specific tasks helps me to keep a lid on admin and clearly see where I’m bleeding time that I could otherwise claw back. Time recording is key to help you accurately set prices, know where your time is going, and stay organised.

Free trial + $10 off*

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Most people have heard of Yoast, but SEOPress is a far cheaper and easier to use equivalent. SEOPress has a much nicer interface, and integrates easily with the WordPress page builder we use (Elementor Pro). 

Logo - create

Ubersuggest is neil Patel’s SEO analyser. It’s a great tool for keeping on top of site traffic, competitors and keyword rankings. It also has a great SEO audit tool to helo you stay on top of technical errors. The keyword research tools are very useful and include a filter to show you keywords you can rank for right now, based on the domain ranking of your own site — great to help with quick wins to boost your search ranking. Note that Ubersuggest does have trouble monitoring your traffic accurately if you are using fathom instead of Google Analytics, but I use it more for technical SEO and keyword research than for site rankings, as fathom gives me all the info I need.

Video comms

Zoom

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Loom

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

 

xxx

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

 

Later

Elementor Pro

Gravity Forms

Typeform

Keap CRM

AccessAlly…alternative???

Surfer SEO?

Dropbox

Memberstack

LastPass
Notion
ClickUp
 
 Calendly
Acuity
Video comms: Zoom, Loom…