When a WordPress business is new, you focus on the external. Who is my target client? Where will I find them? How much should I charge clients to build their websites?
It’s all about them, so you can get to a point where you don’t feel guilty focusing on you.
If you’ve successfully scaled your WordPress agency and you have a team of enthusiastic employees and a happy set of clients, then today is the day you can afford to do this. And there are two huge benefits to turning the focus on yourself:
- You can effectively remove yourself as the friction or bottleneck in your agency (which, let’s face it, is often the case with business owners who are afraid to let go).
- You can devote more time to living your best life outside of the business (which, again, is a tough thing to do when you’re holding too tightly to the reins).
As in the earlier stages of your business (startup and scaling), new tools are what will enable you to grow into this new “role”. Today, I’m going to share with you the tools that helped take my agency to higher levels and grow our revenue while simultaneously allowing me to spend less time in the business.
8 Best Tools for Powerhouse WordPress Agencies
With my own WordPress agency, I found that the best tools at this stage were ones that empowered my team to take more control of our processes and, thus, feel more invested in the future of the company. I still had the ability to oversee things if I wanted to, but you know what? I found it less and less necessary as my team could more effectively handle tasks I delegated to them than I could. All that was really needed from me was a few insights or feedback here and there.
So, if you’re looking to make your agency a true powerhouse, now is the time to add some new apps to your toolbox.
1. Notion (Freemium)
Early on in your business, most of what you do gets stored inside your head. You know which tools to use to build clients’ websites. You know your processes by heart. And you know that it’s best to follow up with a proposal three days after sending it.
But as your business grows and you expand your team, this knowledge can no longer live inside your head. Nor can it live in documentation haphazardly thrown together and stored on a shared drive somewhere.
This isn’t your typical task management tool where you have a few options for organising projects and tasks as lists, calendars or kanban blocks. Notion gives you the power to:
- Keep a personal task list.
- Manage projects with dedicated stages and accountable team members.
- Organise project and client notes.
- Create a knowledge base of documentation for your team.
- Build a database with information on your clients, open projects, sent proposals and so on.
This, in turn, takes the onus off of you to own and manage your company’s processes and allows your team to turn your agency into a well-oiled machine.
2. Otter.ai (Freemium)
As nice as it would be to have a meeting-less existence at work, it’s not really possible. While you can definitely cut back on the number of meetings you attend, it’s a natural part of doing business.
Whether you’re meeting with prospects, clients or employees, you want to maximise the time you spend with them.
But that can be difficult when you’re trying to take notes while the other person talks and vice versa. You could skip the note-taking, but then you’d have to rely 100% on your recall of the discussion.
Instead, you can relieve yourself as well as your team members of that responsibility by using Otter.
Otter is an AI application that records meetings. Even more than that, it transcribes meeting notes, giving you a searchable copy of your conversation for real-time reference.
In addition, it learns to distinguish between different speakers’ voices, so you don’t have to spend as much time annotating and organising your notes once the meeting is over.
There are other reasons to use Otter, too. Your team can use it to capture meeting notes when you’re unable to attend. You could also use it to record conversations with clients that your writers then turn into quotes for articles or entire case studies.
3. Rev.com (Premium)
While Otter can take care of transcribing recorded calls and meetings, you will notice that the quality of the transcription requires a lot of editing. So for any documentation that you want to use externally, you’re going to need something that provides a better quality transcription. For this, you can use Rev.com.
You can use this voice recorder app to transcribe the audio in a variety of scenarios:
- Video tutorials
- Conferences and keynotes
If there’s a speech of great importance that you need quickly and expertly transcribed, Rev.com is the tool and service to take care of it for you. The files are then yours to export in your preferred file format and do with as you please.
4. Paste (Freemium)
One of the issues with having so many different devices to work from is that they don’t always speak to each other the way we want them to. For instance, you can share files and website links between your phone and computer with Airdrop. However, you can’t copy a quote you found on your iPhone, only to open your Mac and paste that same quote into a document you’re creating.
You also don’t have an option to save links, quotes, code snippets, message templates, signatures, and so on to clipboards on or between your devices. You have to instead find little nooks and crannies where you can store them, usually in disparate apps and, often, for personal use.
With the Paste app, however, you won’t have to do that anymore.
Paste gives you and your team a much easier way to retrieve copied items — even those saved months ago — so you don’t have to spend as much time searching and instead can spend more time creating.
5. Voxer (Freemium)
Have you ever been out of the office and away from your computer, and suddenly realised you forgot to tell your assistant something? Or gone on a run and midway through it you get struck by a new idea for a blog post?
It’s frustrating being in these situations where you feel like you’re going to lose that thought if you don’t capture it this very second.
While Voxer is described as a “walkie-talkie” app, you don’t actually need someone sitting by the other walkie-talkie for it to work.
In truth, Voxer is an all-in-one communication tool. You can text, call, record voice messages, send photos and even share your location with the app.
If you want a more efficient way to talk to your team, Voxer gives you all the right channels to do so and in a way that allows you to leave the office, live your life and still have an easy way to check back in when you need to.
6. Spark (Freemium)
Do you ever feel like email is the biggest time-suck?
You step inside it to see if your designer provided an update on something they’re working on, but then you see that three new prospects just scheduled discovery sessions with you. You decide to take just a quick look at who signed up, so you check the information provided in Calendly…
And the next time you look up at the clock, you realise an hour has passed and you still didn’t get that new podcast episode outlined.
If you want your inbox to stop being a distraction and to become something that helps you gain traction in your workday, you need to take control.
Spark is the one I and my team love to use as it does more than just snooze the inbox.
With Spark, you can:
- Organise your inbox based on categories and priorities.
- Pin important emails.
- Snooze ones you don’t need to deal with right now.
- Use natural language to instantly retrieve what you’re looking for.
- Use different signatures based on the messages you send.
- Collaborate with team members on emails they’re writing.
- Create and share templates with your team.
It’s a pretty neat way to stay organised, be more collaborative and diminish distractions.
7. Noizio (Freemium)
As your office expands, so too will the noise level around you. Even if you don’t have a dedicated office space that your team works from, there’s always the chance that ambient noises will crowd out the thoughts swirling around your head.
If you want to be able to relax and enjoy your time away from work, you need to stay focused on work when you’re at work.
With the Noizio mobile app, you’ll be able to do just that.
Noizio allows you to choose your surroundings. Do you feel more at ease on the ocean? Or sitting outside on a summer night? You can even use it to create a mock workplace, with the sound of a keyboard or old-school typewriter clacking away.
You can also create customised environments based on the situation: one for work, one for meditation, one for sleep.
8. Coach.me (Freemium)
At some point, you’re going to wonder what the next step is for you. You’ve successfully created and scaled a WordPress agency. But now what? Is that where your passions end and the stagnation begins? Of course not.
When you reach that point, it’s time to enlist a professional to help you out.
Coach.me is a mobile and web app that provides on-demand coaching services for that very reason.
For those of you reading this who don’t yet feel like you need a coach to help you level up or figure out your next step, that’s okay. Coach.me also provides a free habit tracker to get you started. When you’re ready, it’s easy to move up to habit coaching or leadership coaching.
At some point, you’re going to have to slow down and enjoy the fruits of your labour. And, really, it’s up to you to make that happen.
When you learn to delegate more and begin to trust your team to handle the day-to-day of your agency, that’s when you can position yourself on the sidelines. You’re still the visionary, the one who’s always thinking about the next big thing for your company. It just shouldn’t require you to sit behind your desk 10+ hours a day, answering an onslaught of emails, writing up notes and being otherwise distracted by the tasks your team can readily handle.
With these 8 tools (as well as the 18 others I shared with you in my previous posts), you can make this a reality.
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