Behind every successful influencer are a collection of tools that support the various tasks and obligations they are responsible for each day. It can be hard to decide which tools you need and which you don’t, given how many options there are out there trying to get your attention to help you with different things.
Our advice is this: focus on using tools built specifically for influencers.
This means that they are built to immediately integrate into your workflow (or help you create the proper workflow) and won’t require much procedural customization on your end. It also helps when you know that all of the reviews and testimonials are from people either just like you who have found success with the tool doing the exact tasks that you are looking for help with.
Here is our list of critical tools you need to enhance your success as an influencer. These tools will help you achieve better work-life balance, create better content and grow your audience.
Email marketing for influencers
Every influencer needs to build an email newsletter to build deeper relationships with your audience and connect with them outside of your usual social media content. To do this, you need an email marketing platform. Most email marketing platforms make it easy for you to import your audience, allow email list signups, design and test email layouts and track relevant analytics (helpful when pitching brands).
We recommend two email marketing platforms for influencers:
MailChimp – One of the most popular entry-level email marketing platforms that make it easy to get started and features expand as your email list grows. You can sign up for free and upgrade when your usage requires.
ConvertKit – An email marketing platform designed specifically for content creators. Convertkit got their start as email marketing for professional bloggers but has since branched out into all areas of content creation. ConvertKit has a free plan that you can upgrade like MailChimp as your grow.
Social Media Management Platform
When you are posting content regularly, let alone multiple times a day in some cases, the process can become quite annoying. Imagine being able to schedule all of your posts in advance and then forget about it, nice right? That is where social media management platforms come in. These platforms allow you to not only schedule content days and months in advance, but also helps you monitor your content on all of your social media channels in one easy to use dashboard.
Some of our favorite social media management platforms are:
MeetEdgar – Claims to save their users 8 hours per week when it comes to social media management (all platforms). MeetEdgar has great support and educational content you can refer to if needed to make things as easy as possible. MeetEdgar comes with a 7-day free trial.
Planoly - Helps you not only schedule Instagram posts but play with the layout of your Instagram feed before you post to make sure that you are maintaining the aesthetic you desire. Planoly has a generous free plan for influencers who post once a day (30 posts per month) and cost-effective upgrade options.
Creative design platform
To create eye catching posts, stories, website graphics and other assets you need a platform where your creativity can take over. There are many ways to do this. If you don’t think you are creative enough to build the quality graphics that you are after, platforms like Fiverr and Upwork can be quite helpful. For those who want to maintain control and do it themselves, finding an easy to use platform that can assist with guiding your creativity is key.
Canva – A free graphic design platform that can help with any and all of your graphic design needs. Whether its an Instagram story, email signature or even your media kit, Canva provides great capability for being a free platform. You can also schedule content posting on Canva as an added bonus!
Keyword Research Tool (for influencers with a blog/website)
If you have a website or a blog it is critical that you optimize everything you post for keyword relevance. Without keyword relevance you are fighting an uphill battle to build traffic and authority on Google. To help with this, you need a tool that will help you identify keyword opportunities as quickly and easily as possible. Keyword optimization for influencers and bloggers also increases the likelihood of brands discovering your content if they are searching on Google for relevant blog articles for their niche.
Where to get started:
Google Ads – You can create a Google Ads account for free and inside of your dashboard you will be able to access their Keyword Planner (without actually having to run any ads).
Ahrefs – A great tool for not only discovering keyword opportunities but for many other tasks related to growing your website. Spy on successful blogs to see what they are doing, find content opportunities, search for backlinks all in one place. Some of Ahrefs tools can be accessed for free in a scaled down version while others are accessible through their free trial and then paid plans.
Collaboration management platform
Collaborating with brands is the lifeblood of your influencer business. Regardless of how much you are getting paid, how you plan and execute your collaborations is key in building positive relationships with each brand – increasing the chances of a long-term partnership. Many influencers settle on the basic free tools that are available to them like Google Docs/Sheets and their phone calendar app to coordinate everything. This is not only creates unnecessary work for you but it hardly resembles how a successful business operates.
Our recommendation (surprise!):
CreatorPilot – Gives you all of the functionality you have with the free tools you’re likely using now but also includes automated reminders, dashboards you can share with brands, smart invoice building and more. CreatorPilot is free for 45-days and then has a paid plan.
This list of tools provides the foundation you need to not only grow as an influencer but to succeed in turning it into a business by improving your content, growing your audience and monetizing through brand collaborations. What tools are you using now? Are you missing any of these?