Cannabis and Hemp CBD Marketing Resources to Make Your Life Easier (and Help Your Business to Stand Out!)
Running your business is more than enough work for you and your team. The last thing you want to do is waste too much time trying to sort through what cannabis and hemp CBD marketing resources work best for your business, and which ones don’t.
Imagine setting up an email delivery service account, then have the email vendor shut it down because they don’t allow cannabis companies to use their platform. Seriously, it happens, so let’s avoid that, shall we?
For the past 20+ years, I’ve been doing marketing for organizations I worked for, clients, as well as my own business. Also, I teach marketing at several universities.
This means that I have tried So. Many. Marketing. Technologies.
I mean, SO many. From email marketing tools to CRMs to social media management tools, it’s exhausting. So, this list of cannabis and hemp CBD marketing resources is my gift to you. (And yes, there are affiliate links throughout this list. This means that if you click and buy something, I may make a little money).
It seems fair though, since each item on this comprehensive list represents hours of time spent researching and testing different options.
Tools to Help Manage Your Business More Efficiently
I’ve tried so many different tools in the name of organization. From Asana, Trello, Airtable, paper planners, to Google Calendars, and more. Thanks to my friend Yvonne at AskYvi, the efficiency expert, I landed on ClickUp. ClickUp is a tremendous tool that makes streamlining processes and organizing goals, projects and tasks kind of (dare I say it?) fun.
I have to thank Yvi for showing me how AirTable can work with ClickUp, to streamline everything. The two together are powerful. With AirTable I can easily manage my content marketing and social media. It helps me track my press, articles, and speaking engagements. I could use Google Drive for this, but AirTable is easy, organized, and helps me see things in a different way.
Freshbooks was one of the first tools I signed up for when I started my business. From invoices to time-tracking tools to getting basic reports I need to run my business, Freshbooks is my go-to tool. It’s simple, straightforward, and makes it easy to manage my client projects, invoices, and expenses. There was no learning curve to getting started, you just sign up and you’re ready to go.
Ever get behind on your accounting and finances as a business owner? I was behind and stuck in 2019 accounting issues when I heard about Bench. After talking with several accountants, I realized I needed help. But I didn’t need enough help to justify a business accountant now. So I decided to try Bench. It’s been awesome. They have a team working on my books each month so I know exactly what I made, spent, and how my business is performing. While it’s not the same as having an accountant, it is the next best thing.
The inability for cannabis and hemp CBD companies to collect money online is a nightmare. The whole lack of banking is a nightmare. It stops and slows legitimate, legal businesses in every sense of the word. (Well “legal” at the state level).
It is critical to find the right payment processor and bank to support your business. After speaking with many different options, I landed on Easy Pay Direct. They are friendly and have great customer service. And they also find banks and rates that make sense for my business.
As an ancillary business in the cannabis industry, I never touch the plant. In fact, much of what I do is the exact same thing (only more niche) than I teach and work on in any other industry. I can’t recommend them enough.
Use a Trusted Email Delivery System to Reach Out to Your Audience
Why ActiveCampaign? So many reasons, but here are my top three:
- ActiveCampaign ALLOWS cannabis and hemp CBD companies to use the platform. Very few email vendors do, so this is important.
- Their automations are easy to use and work how they should. When I have used other tools (MailChimp, Pardot, Constant Contact, etc.), in the past, the automations don’t work how I need them to. Another thing they do is limit the number of automation campaigns you can have running at one time.
- They also work as a basic CRM. This means that it is somewhat like HubSpot. So, if you need an email provider that works like HubSpot, without the big price tag, I recommend ActiveCampaign.
ActiveCampaign is one of my favorite cannabis and hemp CBD marketing resources on this list.
Boost Your Authority and Increase Your Reach
InfluencerSoft is new to the market but is a competitor on par with Kajabi and other similar tools. It allows you to create landing pages, sales funnels, pop-ups, manage affiliates, and courses. I’m new to it but I love what I’ve seen so far. And InfluencerSoft has a ton of training and support available to help you get started.
Grow and Get to Know Your Audience Better with Engaging Quizzes
Who doesn’t love a good quiz? When you need to grow your email list, there is no better way to do this than with a quiz. Interact gives you the tools to effortlessly build different types of quizzes. I like them so much, I even wrote a blog about my experience.
Streamline Your Social Media Strategy
When I say I’ve tried most social media platforms out there, it isn’t a lie. To date, I’ve used Hootsuite, SmarterQueue, Buffer, Planoly, Lately, Later, Tailwind, and more. If you are getting started and don’t want to spend a lot, try Buffer’s free option. But if you recognize the importance of social media for your business, AgoraPulse is the tool for you. It centralizes all messages and comments and has the ability to assign items to other people in your organization. Did I mention their reporting tools? The reporting alone sold me.
If you need to send reports to clients or to other people in your organization, AgoraPulse is the tool you need.
Create Amazing On-Brand Visual Graphics Easily
You’re not a designer but you do it for the ‘gram: Easil
Still using Canva? It’s time to check out Easil. It’s my new go-to for unique designs and templates for my brand. There are so many times when I see the same Canva templates over and over again. Easil makes it easy to use, create and lock layers, resize, designs, and more. But the real reason I use Easil? The designs are unique and modern. The capabilities are on point, and their team is super responsive.
We all know that video is where it’s at. And there are many different video tools out there. But of them all, Wave stands above. Not only is it easy to use to create short videos for social media, but they now offer video hosting without ads. Let me say that again, they offer video hosting without ads.
Why is this important?
It’s important because say you make a video promoting a cool new product. You put the video on YouTube and then add the YouTube link to your website. People come and watch it on your website. But after your video plays, YouTube offers other videos to watch that have nothing to do with your website. Instead, the videos and ads from YouTube distracts them from your content. The next thing they know, they’ve been on your website for hours watching clips of puppies playing the piano.
The other option is to host your video on Vimeo, but then that costs money and you now have something else to pay for. Wave is continually adding, new features which make it a great resource for your online marketing.
The first month I implemented TubeBuddy, views on my YouTube channel increased 120%. TubeBuddy makes it easy to optimize your videos so they can be found. I refer to it as “SEO for my videos”. Since YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, it pays to make your videos easy to find. TubeBuddy includes a checklist of what you should do for every video you load to YouTube. It provides stats on your channel and for each video. Want to know what your competitors are doing? Well, you’re in luck, TubeBuddy makes it easy to see what keywords and tags other channels are using. It’s a powerful tool if you’re using YouTube.
Live Video Essentials You Didn’t Know You Needed
There are several ways to go live online and a ton of tools and equipment you can use, but it all depends on your budget. I have since upgraded a few items since starting out. Read on to learn more about my favorite live video essentials.
Here’s what I use:
- Ecamm Live. It is my favorite tool to use for live video. It has a short learning curve and is easy to use. Oh! You can schedule videos ahead of time and they have great customer service.
- Logitech Camera C920. A small camera can make a big difference in how you appear on screen. When I compare my Logitech video with the video from my laptop camera, it is a huge difference. Right now with coronavirus still affecting our supply chains, the camera is out of stock. This one looks like a good back up option though.
- Elgato Key Light. This light is the real thing. I played with other options and use a ring light frequently when I help clients with their short videos. The Key Light has controls you can manage through your computer. You can change the brightness as well as temperature settings. Don’t waste your time with smaller cheaper lights if you’re serious about video. It isn’t worth the extra money you spend trying to get it right.
- Yeti Mic. My Yeti Mic makes me sound professional. You want clean, clear audio, and that is what I get with my Yeti Mic. When I’m traveling I tend to use my Shure mic because it is more compact and has an amazing sound.
- Rode Lavalier Mic. If I’m doing an in-person interview, we mic up using the Rode lavalier mic. It is easy, lightweight, and plugs right into my phone. If you’re feeling fancy the wireless Rode mic is even better.
- Easil. In addition to my camera, Easil makes me look good. I use it for promotions, thumbnails, and overlays like the lower thirds.
- Stream Deck. Stream Deck gives me the power to push a button to change scenes during my live broadcasts. It works with my Elgato Key light, and it makes my life easier to have the controls at my fingertips. I can focus on my live show and the interviews and not worry about the details.
- Otter.ai. Let’s talk about the importance of transcriptions. Once you have your video, it is important that you add the closed caption to it. And it helps to offer a transcript available with your blog post about the video (you are adding your videos to your blog as well, right?). Otter makes it super easy to take audio and video recordings and get the transcript for them. It has 500 free minutes for new users. You will need to review the transcription accuracy. But Otter helps you save time and money on transcriptions.
- Rev.com. If you want to skip the review process and know your audio transcribed correctly the first time, Rev.com is the best option for you.
Make Reading a Habit: Best Marketing Books to Dive Into
Besides giving you tips on which tools and platforms work best, this cannabis, hemp, and CBD marketing resources will not be complete without great book recommendations. If you want to learn more about marketing, or love reading marketing books in your free time, you’re in luck. I put together all my favorite books about business and marketing into one place.
The list represents three parts:
- Psychology and self-help for business owners
- Marketing best practices,
- Business ideas to inspire ideas.
Increase Business Productivity
Stay Focused On Your Tasks: Focus@Will
Podcaster Pat Flynn recommended Focus@Will and so I decided to try it. Full-disclosure, I am someone who is easily distracted. I often have trouble focusing on tasks that need to get done. I am in love with Focus@Will. From the little bell that chimes before each session, to the music options designed to trigger brainwaves, I love this tool.
Which Will You Try?
This list represents cannabis and hemp CBD marketing resources that I’ve spent years vetting until I landed on each of these items.
The good news is that all them have been tested by me.
No, wait, the good news is that they all allow cannabis and hemp CBD companies to use their services.
That’s right, you can use any of the tools recommended here without getting your accounts shut down.
That’s one less thing you need to worry about.
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