The Top 10 Tools I Can’t Live Without…
I get a little geeky when it comes to my favorite web tools. Ok… so REALLY geeky. I’m pretty much a total nerd fest :) So I thought I’d share my Top 10 favorite tools for running our business online…
Fiverr – I have found some really amazing people on Fiverr. It’s a super simple way to outsource all sorts of different tasks. Ecovers, podcast covers, transcription, audio and video editing, graphic design, caricatures, WordPress customizations, and more! They also have some great OptimizePress experts and people who can setup your entire membership site. It’s crazy what you can find on here when you really look. Soooo… What are some of YOUR favorite tools? Please share them in the comments below :)
AWProTools – Supercharge your marketing in minutes with AWProTools. t’s often referred to as “Aweber on steroids”. It allows you to do a lot of the cool stuff that you normally only find inside something like Infusionsoft or Ontraport. Tag subscribers based on their actions. You can tag your subscribers when they click on specific links or when they purchase a specific product. Create SMART marketing campaigns based on your subscribers actions. Move or copy subscribers to another list with just one click. This was something that always frustrated me. I never felt like I had full control over my lists inside Aweber. But with AWProTools, you can move subscribers from one list to another without requiring a confirmation. They also have automated tools for deleting your unsubscribes and creating automatic backups. Plus, my favorite feature of all… You can automatically move subscribers to a new list when they reach the end of your autoresponder sequence. Combined with the ‘tagging’ feature, this opens up an unlimited number of opportunities for some very cool automated marketing sequences :) With Aweber and AWProTools I’m able to get all of the advanced features of something like Infusionsoft, but without all the headaches and at a fraction of the cost.
LeadPages – This ONE tool has made my life sooooo much easier. It allows you to create squeeze pages, download pages, launch pages, sales pages, upsell pages, webinar pages, and more in 10 minutes or less. The point-and-click interface makes it ridiculously easy to create marketing pages on the fly. Which allows us to create campaigns a lot faster. I also LOVE the lead boxes as well, which allow us to capture hundreds of subscribers from each blog post. In fact, our best performing lead boxes have generated 1,000+ subscribers each. Plus, LeadPages has beautiful built-in reporting stats as well. Which is like candy for a geek like me :)
Stripe - To run a business online, you must have a way to take payments. Stripe is the best (and easiest!) way to do that. Back in the “horse and buggy” days of the web (i.e. 5 years ago). Getting a merchant account was a major pain in the butt. They took at least 2 weeks to get setup. They were all expensive, froze funds without warning, and had complicated user interfaces. Then something magical happened. Some really smart person created Stripe. And now you can take payments online easy and effortlessly. It takes all of 5 minutes to get setup and start taking credit card payments online.
Wistia – Getting a video online used to be crazy complicated. Back in the Wild West days of the Web. But now there’s Wistia. Which makes it super easy to upload and embed videos anywhere on your website. Wistia allows you to customize your video with social sharing buttons, built in opt-in forms, and a clickable call-to-action at the end of your video! I’ve used numerous video hosting options over the years and Wistia has been the easiest by far. But they’re video speed and quality is the best I’ve seen anywhere. With a lot of the other platforms I’ve used, we’ve run into a lot more ‘buffering’ time and delayed videos. But not with Wistia! They’re videos play perfectly. Which is essential when you’re creating premium content for products, coaching, and membership sites. Plus, their magical algorithm ensures that all of the videos you upload are viewable on mobile, desktop, and tablets.
Libsyn – This is where we host all of our podcasts. Which we’re staring back up in 2015! Libsyn makes it easy to host and publish your podcast. One of my favorite features is that they automatically create an RSS feed that you can submit to sites like iTunes, Soundcloud, and Stitcher Radio. Which makes it sooooo much easier to get your podcast listed in the iTunes directory. Plus, you also get built-in stats so you can see exactly how many downloads your podcast is getting each day. Which is essential if you want to attract advertisers as well.
HabitBull – This is my favorite app on my phone. It allows me to track my goals and build new habits. I have just one habit listed. It’s THE most important habit in my life and ensures that our business continues to grow. Are you curious what it might be? * Writing 1,000 words per day. Creating content is at the cornerstone of our business. New blog posts, emails, podcasts, products, etc… And by writing 1,000 words per day, I’m able to ensure that ALL of those get done. HabitBull is modeled after Jerry Seinfeld’s best productivity secret. Mark a big red ‘X’ on the calendar for each day that you complete your task. Pretty soon you’ll have a chain. Each day the chain will grow longer. And your only job is to not break the chain! HabitBull gives you an automated, virtual way to do that :) But it’s also only for Android. If you have an iPhone, I recommend using another great app called Lift.
Putler – I personally LOVE tracking, dashboards, and all forms of analytics. But I’m not a huge tech person. So I want tools that make it super simple for me to get a 10,000 foot view of our business. That’s why I use Puter. Which allows us to track and manage all of our customers from a single dashboard. Putler also shows you exactly how your business is performing. You can easily see how many sales you’ve made today, this week, or this month. All in one single dashboard. Integrates seamlessly with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, 2Checkout, Shopify, and many others
ClickMagick – This is one of my all-time favorite tools. And also one of the most important. Clickmagick allows you to create tracking links so that you can see exactly which traffic sources are sending you the most visitors, subscribers, and sales. A lot of people online are building their business with blinders on. They’re driving traffic to their website. But they don’t really know WHICH traffic sources are the most effective. And WHICH traffic sources are converting best to subscribers and sales. That’s where ClickMagick comes in. You’ll create a seperate tracking link for each traffic source. So, for example, I’d have a unique tracking link for my forum signature. Another one for Facebook ads. Another one for solo ads. Etc… Next you’ll setup your conversion tracking code. A small snippet of code that goes on your conversion pages (i.e. your thank-you page). And now you’ll know exactly how many subscribers and sales are generated from each individual traffic source. I know… at first it can sound kind of complex. But once you get the hang of it it’s really not that bad. And you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it! You MUST know the numbers in your business.
Aweber – This is the service I use to manage our email newsletter. Aweber allows us to grow our subscriber list, send follow-up emails, and create an automated marketing system that works for you 24/7. This is by far one of the most important tools for running a profitable online business. I’ve tried a couple of different email services (including GetResponse, Infusionsoft, and Ontraport). Aweber has been my favorite. It has excellent features and an easy-to-use interface. Plus, you can soup up the engine when you integrate Aweber with…